Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was praised by Rep. Chris Collins Wednesday during committee hearings looking at the social network's privacy issues and operations.
During some five hours of questioning, Zuckerberg apologized several times for Facebook failures and said it was working hard to change its own operations after the harvesting of users’ private data by a data-mining company affiliated with Donald Trump’s campaign.
During his late afternoon four-minute turn to question Zuckerberg, Collins' tone was praiseworthy and his message was basically one of "hand's off," saying that an existing consent order with the Federal Trade Commission offered enough consumer protections.
"It's very hard to anticipate a bad actor doing what they're doing until after they've done it and clearly you took actions after 2014," said the Clarence Republican. "So one really quick question is: What did change - in, you know, 10 or 20 or 30 seconds - what data was being collected before you locked down the platform and how did that change to today?"
"Congressman, thank you," Zuckerberg responded. "So before 2014, when we announced the change, someone could sign in to an app and could share some of their data, but also could share basic information about their friends. And in 2014, the major change was we said, 'Now, you're not going to be able to share information about your friends.'"
The hearings were a major test for Zuckerberg. Facebook is confronting its biggest privacy scandal in 14 years after it was revealed that the data firm Cambridge Analytica misused data from up to 87 million users.