Mark Zuckerberg Reveals How He Wants to See Facebook Regulated

The CEO is not completely against regulation.

Mark Zuckerberg has suggested that he would not oppose regulation of Facebook in some circumstances. In an interview with reporter Laurie Segall on Wednesday that followed in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved over 50 million users’ data being harvested for political campaigns, the CEO said that “the question is more what is the right regulation.”

The question of regulation arose during a CNN interview about Facebook’s response to Cambridge Analytica, the data collection firm that was revealed on Wednesday to have supplied data to the Trump campaign and others. While Zuckerberg detailed a “full audit” to discover the extent of the scandal, he also suggested that legislators could focus more on online services in passing bills. One aspect where Zuckerberg suggested he would like to see more regulation was around advertising, with the Facebook founder saying that “it’s just not clear” why the internet should follow different rules to TV, radio, and other media.

Facebook's use of data is in the spotlight.

Unsplash / Tim Bennett

Facebook has its own rules around how advertisers can use the service, recently announcing a crackdown on cryptocurrency. Zuckerberg told Wired in a Wednesday interview that the Honest Ads Act was the sort of regulation he would support. The act asks for increased transparency around who pays for political ads, and Facebook already follows a lot of its provisions.

“We’re committed, and we’ve actually already started rolling out ad transparency tools that accomplish most of the things that are in all the bills that people are talking about today, because we just think that this is an important thing,” Zuckerberg said. “People should know who is buying the ads on Facebook, and you should be able to go to any page and see the ads that people are running to different audiences.”

The fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal is likely to resonate for a while as Facebook comes to terms with how its policy for seven years until 2014 allowed an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” to harvest 270,000 people’s data and pass it over to a third party to influence elections.

While Zuckerberg is focused on ad transparency today, it’s possible this week’s scandal leads to a legislative rethink around how user data is managed by tech corporations.

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