California State University, Fullerton

Congressional Hearing Addresses Privacy Breaches

On April 10, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress in respect to security data and privacy breaches. Most recently, as said by Todd Spangler, “Facebook’s public spanking was sparked by revelations about Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that  and this was the red flag that made it a federal case — worked with Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The British firm improperly paid a third-party researcher for data on upwards of 87 million Facebook users without their knowing it, and Facebook didn’t disclose the breach on learning about it three years ago.”

During the hearing, Zuckerberg expressed his recognition of the damage at hand and his sincere apologies. He stated how attention in this area was undoubtedly not as broad as it should have been, but realizes that real change must be implemented.

In response to this event, a question comes to mind, has the digital age been overlooked by individuals prior to this catastrophe? Social media has grown to become prevalent and influential within communities on a global scale. The audience ranges from various ages, from young to elderly. But, how many users are actually tech savvy or aware of the their security rights when they sign up and create a Facebook account? Presumably, a small percentage of users are well-informed.

With frustration and disappointment, Congress argued that the privacy issues on Facebook are in severe need of major change, otherwise the law will step in to oversee regulations. The public needs to feel that their information is safe. They are taking the precautions of setting their profiles to private, but from that point on, what else are they to do if Facebook is not preventing this from happening on their end?

Zuckerberg agreed that he is the founder of Facebook, and should have taken more responsibility to avoid this from occurring. He admitted that mistakes have been made, but that he will work effectively to fix the situation and establish improvements. Thus, it is imperative to think about how communication and technology can sometimes have negative consequences. Yes, it is excellent to connect online to a relative or friend who lives across the world, but to what cost? It is fundamental to have tighter security in order to prevent our information from being taken and dispersed without our consent.

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