Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a lot of uncomfortable moments during his first day of testifying before the US Congress on Tuesday, April 10, over his running of the social media giant in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica (CA) data leak scandal. But nothing was more uneasy than the question thrown at him at him by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
Durbin asked Zuckerberg whether he would be comfortable in sharing the name of the hotel where he stayed last night or whether he would like to reveal the names of the people he messaged last week. Zuckerberg was caught awkward and he took eight seconds to react and he finally said "no" after a grimace. He replied with a similar reaction to the second question as well.
While others posed questions with more ethical, political and technical edge, Durbin's mundane questions nailed it most effectively. "I think that might be what this is all about," the 73-year-old senator said after Zuckerberg refused to share his own personal details.
Facebook has found itself on the docks in the wake of the CA data leak scandal during which the personal data of millions were used to target political advertising and messaging for influencing election outcomes in the US and elsewhere in the world. Zuckerberg and his team came under harsh criticism for having failed to protect the private information of its users which was also being manipulated.
"Your right to privacy, the limits of your right to privacy, and how much you give away in modern America in the name of connecting people around the world," Durbin said while speaking to Zuckerberg.
The defensive Facebook CEO accepted Durbin's point and said everybody should have control over how their information is being used. During the interrogation which lasted for hours, Zuckerberg conceded that he has committed a mistake and promised to take all possible measures to ensure that no unfair incident gets repeated in future.