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Consumer Trust in Facebook Drops Following Latest Data Scandal

Quitting Facebook is not always easy because of the way the social network is intertwined into the fabric of the internet
AFP

A new poll shows that public trust in social media platform Facebook has dropped massively following the site’s latest data scandal.

A recently released poll from Reuters shows that the public is rapidly losing faith in Facebook following recent revelations that data analysis firm allegedly Cambridge Analytica used the social media platform to gain access to the personal data of 50 million users. According to the Reuters poll, only 41 percent of consumers trust Facebook to obey U.S. privacy laws. In comparison, 47 percent of consumers say they would trust Yahoo! to obey the same laws despite the site suffering their own massive data breaches in 2016, while 60 percent trust Microsoft, 62 percent trust Google, and Amazon ranked as the most trusted with 66 percent.

A majority of those polled also said that they disliked the targeted advertising on social media platforms generated based on user data. They also stated that they wanted the government to step in and regulate Silicon Valley tech companies. 63 percent stated that they wanted “less targeted advertising” on websites, while only 9 percent said that they wanted to see more. 46 percent of consumers stated that they wanted to see more government regulation of companies handling private user data while only 17 percent said that they wanted to see less regulation.

Facebook has suffered significant fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Key congressional lawmakers from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a group that oversees the actions of companies such as Facebook and Google, have requested that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear before them to testify in a formal hearing. The chairman of the committee, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and the committee’s head Democrat representative, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), said in a statement:

The latest revelations regarding Facebook’s use and security of user data raises many serious consumer protection concern. After committee staff received a briefing yesterday from Facebook officials, we felt that many questions were left unanswered. Mr. Zuckerberg has stated that he would be willing to testify if he is ‘the right person.’

We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people. We look forward to working with Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg to determine a date and time in the near future for a hearing before this committee.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview that Facebook would be reaching out to “anyone whose data might have been affected” by the Cambridge Analytica situation “And going forward, when we identify apps that are similarly doing sketchy things, we’re going to make sure that we tell people then, too.” Surprisingly, the Facebook CEO also discussed the issue of tech regulation, stating that he was not entirely against the idea. “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” Zuckerberg said. “There are things like ad transparency regulation that I would love to see.”

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