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Tester: Facebook privacy rules ‘maybe intentionally’ complex so users won’t read them

Posted at 9:26 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 23:26:14-04

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester questioned whether Facebook failed in its responsibility to protect user data while questioning the social network’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, at a hearing Tuesday.

Tester, a Montana Democrat, was one of 44 senators on two committees questioning Zuckerberg as lawmakers wrestle with whether Facebook needs to be regulated to better protect user data.

In a exchange of just over five minutes, Tester noted that Zuckerberg said multiple times that users own their data on Facebook.

"And I’m going to tell you that sounds really good to me, but in practice, let’s think about this for a second. You’re making about $50 to $40 billion bucks a year on the data. I’m not making any money on it. It feels like you own the data," Tester said.

Zuckerberg replied: "Yes, so Senator when I say it’s your data, what we mean is that you have control over how it’s used on Facebook. You clearly need to give Facebook a license to use it in our system, or else the service doesn’t work."

"Yeah, I know, and this license has come up several times today, but the fact is that license is very thick. Maybe intentionally so, so people get tired of reading it," Tester said.

Facebook has come under fire after news emerged that a third-party firm hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, had gained access to information about 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

See also: Zuckerberg unscathed (so far) in Senate’s grilling session