Mark Zuckerberg’s worldwide Facebook apology tour hits a snag in the EU

“How many times can you say you’re sorry before we stop caring?” Ian Sherr and Erin Carson report for CNET. “If Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s globe-trotting apology tour over privacy violations, election meddling and allowing hate speech to flourish on Facebook is any sign, the answer is not that many.”

“Zuckerberg said he was sorry yet again on Tuesday when he admitted to the European Parliament that fake news and misuse of Facebook users’ private information has become a serious problem for the world’s largest social network,” Sherr and Carson report. “But when it came to anything substantive about European privacy laws, concerns Facebook may be turning into a monopoly and how people can avoid their data being tracked by Facebook even if they’re not a user, Zuck didn’t have a lot to say.”

“European regulators ran out of patience,” Sherr and Carson report. “‘I asked you six ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions, and I got not a single answer,’ said Guy Verhofstadt, a Parliament member representing Belgium. ‘Yes,’ someone in the room echoed in support. Others chimed in. One lawmaker interrupted Zuckerberg’s closing statements to ask if Facebook is a monopoly. Another complained about the Facebook CEO’s lackluster responses… but what we’re seeing with EU regulators’ reaction is an uncomfortable reality for Zuck and Co.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you trust Mark Zuckerberg to be the keeper of your photos, contacts, political views, religious beliefs, etc., you’re batshit insane.

Instant messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early days, reported by Business Insider, May 13, 2010:

Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.
Zuckerberg: They “trust me”
Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks

SEE ALSO:
I was one of the very first people on Facebook. I shouldn’t have trusted Mark Zuckerberg – April 17, 2018
Facebook AI predicts your future and sells this info to advertisers – April 16, 2018
Why there shouldn’t be a ‘next Facebook’ – April 13, 2018
How Facebook lets brands and politicians target users – April 11, 2018
Facebook’s Zuckerberg was ready to slam Apple if Congress asked him about Tim Cook’s privacy comments – April 11, 2018
Apple co-founder Woz quits Facebook – April 9, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook scans the contents of all private Messenger texts – April 4, 2018
Facebook to warn 87 million users that their data ‘may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica’ – April 4, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and the never-ending stench of Facebook – April 2, 2018
Apple may be the biggest winner from Facebook’s data scandal – April 2, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg blasts Apple CEO Cook’s criticism of Facebook as ‘extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth’ – April 2, 2018
Apple CEO Cook: Facebook should have self-regulated, but it’s too late for that now – March 28, 2018
U.S. FTC will investigate Facebook over privacy or lack thereof – March 26, 2018
Apple CEO Cook calls for more data oversight, ‘well-crafted regulation’ after Facebook debacle – March 26, 2018
Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices for years; Apple iOS devices unaffected – March 25, 2018
Apple CEO Cook ramps up pressure on Facebook, calls for more regulations on data privacy – March 24, 2018
Steve Jobs tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg about privacy in 2010 – March 23, 2018
Facebook has gotten too big, too powerful, too influential for Mark Zuckerberg to handle – March 23, 2018
How to block Facebook completely from your Mac – March 22, 2018
How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook – March 22, 2018
What to expect from Facebook’s Zuckerberg if he testifies before Congress – March 21, 2018
Why Facebook’s blatant disregard for users’ privacy could be very good for Apple – March 21, 2018
Facebook’s surveillance machine – March 21, 2018
Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg AWOL from Facebook’s damage control session – March 20, 2018
U.S. FTC reportedly probing Facebook’s abuse of personal data as UK summons Zuckerberg for questioning – March 20, 2018
The problem isn’t Cambridge Analytica: It’s Facebook – March 19, 2018
Apple: Privacy is a fundamental right – September 27, 2017

18 Comments

    1. More MDN editorial meme-denial Catch-22. Of course “Anyone doing business in the EU is insane” except when it’s not! Oh wait! They…wha? We’re confused!

  1. Well at least the EU is trying to actually get answers and look out for their citizens not trying to push their own agendas or worry about getting reelected.

    1. Zuck’s stonewalling has not gone down at all well in Europe and his refusal to appear before the UK Parliament Committee is compounding the hostility towards his company on this side of the pond.

      The EU have passed significant privacy legislation ( General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR ) which comes into force tomorrow. Almost every company which sends me marketing e-mails has contacted me in the last month or so to explain their privacy policy and to seek permission to continue sending me e-mails.

      Yes that’s right. Commercial organisations now need my permission to keep sending me marketing emails and there must be a simple option to unsubscribe. Offenders can be fined massive amounts.

      Zuck’s arrogant and evasive attitude is going to make things much tougher for FB in Europe. The EU doesn’t like being taken for fools and strongly supports the individual’s right to privacy. They will introduce whatever additional laws are deemed appropriate to safeguard people’s privacy. I would expect that FB is now very much in the sights of the EU for additional legislation. Zuck was given an opportunity to make a case for his companies practices, but instead he squandered it and made the situation even worse for FB.

      Lots more about GDPR here – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

      Americans should be asking why they are not being allowed comparable rights to privacy or control over what data is stored about them. Look at the above link to see just how comprehensive the GDPR regulations are.

    1. If only you believed in a government of the people, by the people, for the people, then you would be petitioning your government to do what the EU does. Instead you come here regularly to cheer on a hapless administration and feckless congress that are anti-science, pro-corporation, protectionist bullies. When problems happen, you believe the Faux News narrative that the solution is to drown the government in the bathtub so that there is no check and balance to huge corporations like Facebook, Google, Uber, and other scum that treats citizens like product to be sold without their knowledge.

      Hurrah for the EU — at least they realize who they are supposed to represent.

  2. Free market politicians and spies like Zuk love to ambiguously filibuster when asked pointed questions yet they offer FB users no such method to filibuster in the enduser agreements.

  3. More hysteria.

    Facebook is not evil. That’s right; you heard it here first. It’s frustrating, concerning, fascinating, and useful. It is, however, not evil.

    Mark Zuckerberg might be a bit of a jackass if I were to believe a silly movie, but I don’t know this to be a fact because I don’t know Mark Zuckerberg. I do know I don’t see him out using chemical weapons on innocent people while stroking white Persian cat. I may not agree with his politics, but he is not an evil person, and people need to stop saying that about him as well as Facebook.

    Facebook is not trying to destroy anyone’s privacy. Facebook exists by providing a service to both its users and its advertising customers. Oh, like say MDN.

    Facebook supplies us, its users, with a vast playground in which we can talk about whatever nonsense, garbage, and general crap we wish to discuss. Like it or not, they do a decent job of it, notwithstanding the highly annoying web interface, the crappy apps, and the constant attempts to match us up with freaking weird people we don’t know.

    (I get what appears to be a continuous and never-ending string of hookers, and I don’t think that is any kind of accident.)

    Facebook hating has become yet another global pastime. It’s something that people just do. I’ve heard it all. Facebook makes people sad because they compare lives. Facebook is used by kids to bully other kids. Facebook doesn’t care about our privacy and the vast and reaching, “Russians used Facebook to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

    The thing that most complaints about Facebook have in common is the same old media assumption, which is that we the public are utter idiots. If you believe that people didn’t compare lives or that kids didn’t bully each other or that nations didn’t try to interfere in the politics of one another before Facebook, you just might be an idiot.

    Then there is the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook is accused of allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, to steal the information of between 50 million and 87 million users (depending on your “news” source.)

    This “theft” is a very egregious accusation which the media and most tech publications on the Internet went zonkers over. It reached a summit with Zuckerberg sitting before Congress, and we were once again forced to watch mindless politicians put on a show that made them look like morons.

    Instead of making themselves look important, they did just the opposite. They made Zuckerberg and Facebook look like a 4th branch of the government.

    I firmly believe the big reason Zuckerberg was sitting before Congress, and the reason the Internet went gaga with Facebook hate, is not that 50 to 87 million people had their “privacy” violated, (there have been worse hacks) but that the news media was able to draw a connection to Donald Trump.

    You may or may not have noticed, but they don’t like him. Ironically, probably neither do Mark Zuckerberg and the vast majority of lefty Facebook employees.

    Not only did the conventional media and digital media feel they had to bring this matter to the public’s attention, but even Apple’s CEO (Tim Cook) had to use it as an opportunity to explain why Apple is so much better. Tim sounded like an arrogant prick. I believe he is. A pretentious, duplicitous, arrogant prick, but then I don’t know this to be fact. I don’t know Tim Cook. Nonetheless, if I were Zuckerberg, I’d have told him to STFU and build some decent Macs for a change, but then Zuckerberg isn’t evil.

    None of this privacy stuff is the real problem with Facebook though. I go through all the junk Facebook knows about me, using the useful new tools that allow me to see what Facebook “thinks” they know about me, and it’s all so highly inaccurate that it’s laughable.

    Your privacy is YOUR responsibility when using the Internet. Don’t tell anyone anything you don’t want them to know. Problem solved. You don’t need governments that should be dealing with serious issues watching out for you as if you’re and idiot, because you are not! Look at all the people who say they’re aren’t sure so they just don’t use Facebook. Problem solved. I use Facebook but they know nothing about me. Problem solved. This isn’t a world theater issue.

    What worries me about Facebook is that it has become so large (2.2 BILLION with B users at last count), that it has, for all intents and purposes, BECOME the whole of the Internet for a significant number of people.

    There are people out there, millions of them probably, who never use anything except Facebook. News, conversation, chat, special interest groups, user-generated video content, gaming and now even dating. Facebook has it all. Facebook is like a black hole absorbing all of the various functions of the Internet itself.

    Where does this leave developers who’d like to build websites with unique content? I mean does it even make sense to construct a site now or should you create your digital presence on Facebook, put the URL on your business card, and call it a day?

    The terrifying part is that Facebook hasn’t truly begun to flex its muscles yet. What happens when Facebook decides to start developing built-in productivity applications? Facebook Office Suite anyone? While on Facebook you’d have a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation package as well! What if Facebook absorbs Twitter or develops a competitive microblogging alternative? These possibilities aren’t far off.

    I could see a time when books aren’t sold in physical or digital form; you just pay Facebook a monthly fee to read whatever you want. There is no reason they couldn’t venture into music streaming, movie and television streaming, live television, and so on.

    Facebook ride sharing? Food delivery? Facebook Storage as a Service? Think of anything you like and you’ll see that Facebook could easily build it and offer it as a service to millions upon millions of people instantly.

    All this time the “Net Neutrality” folks have been worried about ISPs doing this sort of thing, but I think Facebook is far more likely to swallow the entire Internet than lumbering anti-service Comcast.

    Is there any wonder Tim Cook feels he needs to throw Facebook some shade? Apple’s fledgling awkward services are in danger of being throughly trounced by
    Facebook.

    What happens to Google when every search pretty much ends at some point on Facebook? No wonder the tech world is always ragging of Facebook. Facebook is going to eat their lunches.

    Personally, I don’t like the Facebook dystopia vision but I can see where it or some version of it might happen. The question is, is there anything that can be done about it?

    1. Er…who exactly is paying you?
      We are now transitioning into a post-truth unreality phase, where Russian election meddling didn’t happen, Facebook is a force for good, Cambridge Analytics didn’t interact with Facebook data, all conspiracy theories are true because ‘Obama!’ and only Trump and Republicans tell the truth.
      The heart of whatever is left of American integrity, is bleeding to death by self inflicted wounds.

      1. I’m not on FaceBook and never have been, but I know for a fact that I have been named on FB with in group photographs, so therefore it’s reasonable to assume that FB hold data on me without any form of prior consent from me.

        The Catch 22 is that there is no way for me to find out what data FB have on me without giving them further personal information to prove my identity.

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