It would punish Facebook and send a strong signal to other social networks. But Zuckerberg continues to have his baby and can compete on fair terms with rising social networks.
The US Government retains its mass surveillance tool, probably their main concern.
Voters get to keep using Facebook and feel like something has been done. Their representatives look like they’ve responded and everything goes back to normal.
Users can vote with their feet if they still feel so inclined, and use Instagram and WhatsApp instead.
New startups could compete in the space knowing that they weren’t facing one behemoth.
The rise of Instagram and WhatsApp IS creative destruction! Creative destruction occurs with or without breaking up Facebook...
I'll be honest I have no idea what you're trying to say.
They don’t control anybody’s time. I don’t use Facebook. Nobody is forced to use Facebook.
Legally, perhaps less so, but it is at least possible at this point that they violated FTC agreements they had in place.
I just don't understand the outrage.
Should Instagram/WhatsApp together be their own public company? I don't think that's the worst scenario, though it might accelerate the death of Snapchat if you have a completely focussed investment in Instagram.
To the public? They could spin off WhatsApp and Instagram (shall we call them Baby Faces?) as public companies and sell them to whoever buys the shares.
SCHATZ: In the time I have left, I want to — I want to propose something to you and take it for the record. I read an interesting article this week by Professor Jack Balkin at Yale that proposes a concept of an information fiduciary.
People think of fiduciaries as responsible primarily in the economic sense, but this is really about a trust relationship like doctors and lawyers, tech companies should hold in trust our personal data.
Are you open to the idea of an information fiduciary and shrine and statute?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I think it's certainly an interesting idea, and Jack is very thoughtful in this space, so I do think it deserves consideration.
So I went and dug up the paper they're talking about.  It's really interesting and I think probably does a better job than most of the other proposed regulations. Typical regulation is to set forth processes that companies must follow. If instead we just tell companies that 'you're responsible for not misusing this' we don't get all the bloat that can shut out small businesses, it avoids first amendment issues and instead of being antagonistic or alternative to anti trust action, it complements it.
One thing that I noticed to be a sharp difference from yesterday is Mark Zuckerburg's stance on GDPR-like protections for people everywhere. I might be wrong about this account, but yesterday he said that GDPR protections will only be available in Europe. Today, he said the GDPR-like protections will be available for users everywhere. He said yesterday and today that Facebook was already implementing portions of the GDPR for years. I don't have a clip for the above yet, and I might have misheard.
12:42 PM: A Congressman (Mr. Lujan, New Mexico) just used the word "shadow profiles", and is asking about how much information Facebook has on non-users.
> We intend to make all the same controls and settings available everywhere, not just in Europe. Is it going to be exactly the same format? Probably not. We need to figure out what makes sense in different markets with the different laws and different places. But—let me repeat this—we’ll make all controls and settings the same everywhere, not just in Europe.
If not for the acquisitions, I think FB with this kind of heat would have started being irrelevant to some of the users and many of the advertisers. The govt should have had been keeping a tab about these things in the first place. It's little too late for regulations.
Even breaking up them would not help. How do regulators would make sure that the systems from different apps under FB umbrella are not sharing data with each other?
How do stories of MySpace, Orkut, Hi5, Mixi, StudiVZ, Bebo or LiveJournal fit into this narrative?
They all had massive networks and a first-mover advantage to boot.
You want to profit off my data (esp. through shadow profiles)? I should have a right as to whether you should and how.
This would inherently limit the utility of such breaches like CA and whatever might happen with your Google data.
I just can't get behind this premise at all. Nothing is being taken from you when Facebook makes a shadow profile and you don't have any copyright or other intellectual property rights over your name, the fact that you went to x high school, the fact that you lived in town y, etc.
We are on a rock hurling through space at millions(?) of miles per hour, depending on your frame of reference. We literally write our own laws, in order to shape our destiny as we see fit. Or, we used to anyways.
An entity like Facebook having so much data on such a large portion of the population (not just US citizens, but citizens of the entire planet) merged with the increasing power of big data algorithms and understanding of human psychology is a very dangerous tool of persuasion.
Personally, I happen to believe that the reason this risk is suddenly getting so much "public support" is because politicians have come to a bi-partisan realization that having an independent entity with this much propaganda power is dangerous - the bi-partisan aspect is interesting as I think it's fair to say silicon valley "leans left" and would tend to be more favorable to democrats, but the last election demonstrated the risk inherent in that stance. Hence, a "spontaneous" flood of newspaper and TV articles with the subsequent (in my opinion, would be interested to hear disagreements on the chicken and egg aspect of it) awakening of "public outrage".
Something is clearly being taken. The fact that it's being assembled without my consent is disturbing, the fact that FB has repeatedly been reckless with securing that data is even more worrisome.
Your privacy (and possibly safety) is being taken. If a burglar can use exfiltrated FB data to know when I'm vacationing, it's information that makes me less secure.
If insurance companies think I'm at a higher risk for expensive treatments, I may be denied or forced to pay a higher premium (perhaps without knowing why).
Edit: Not that I am with OP on shadow profiles or what Facebook is doing. I think it is okay to use people's data for advertisements and other monetary benefit but you should tell that clearly to people and it should be a big opt-in decision point with lots of information provided. I just wanted to point out that your argument is a fallacious argument.
Which is funny to me that a congressman (it was a man, I didn’t catch his name) would push for that since they obviously aren’t interested in protecting citizens data with laws or regulations.
In the latter case, FB doesn't have any requirement to actually not monetize non-EU folks.
This is one possible explanation as to why Zuckerberg is conciliatory to any call from congressmen for regulation.
Thompson's point is that the real issue is not privacy, but that Facebook is incentivized to disregard privacy because that have zero competition. That is, they have the luxury of disregarding user privacy because they have a monopoly on the social network (and have been allowed to strengthen it through acquisitions).
I'd argue that both regulation and competition are necessary. Regulation to make data protected and portable, while punishing breach of data, and competition to allow the market to create alternatives.
Right now people don't leave Facebook because there is nowhere else to go, and no way to take their graph with them.
Ban micro targeting by advertisers, with only textual context and location allowed. Ban platforms like Google and Facebook from offering micro targeting. Marketing managers and their agencies will be held accountable.
This should be easy to enforce and will stop the creepy stalking and data hoovering at source as there is no incentive.
But no one wants to solve the problem, only go through the motions of solving it. These capabilities are too valuable for government and propaganda.
Do you think any Congressperson will sever a lucrative outreach opportunities for these groups, who are also their largest donors?
This shouldn't be a discussion. I can't think of a single non-toy database that actually deletes data when you press DELETE. All the LSM databases (pretty much anything using Facebook's RocksDB) doesn't actually remove data until a compaction event - and MySql/Postgres don't actually delete data until you a VACUUM occurs. (then there's whole minefield of did the OS actually remove the data, or did the filesystem just mark the affected area as deleted, but didn't scrub the bits). Then theres the backups - FB may have a ton of backups in cold storage that may have your data that wasn't removed.
The conversation about "FB simply marks the data in their database as deleted or whether it is actually removed." is unfruitful. The answer is "no" for almost every company on the planet, not just FB.
But other than that: if technology gets in the way what people and the law demand, it's technology that needs to change, not people.
Now as for backups, this is much harder. I don't know how reasonable it is to ask them to discard backups in cold storage - seems like a compliance nightmare that would absolutely punish smaller players that can't build infrastructure to do that.
Is it really reasonable for an active site to keep backups older than a couple of months? A year?
FWIW, a large portion of cleanup happens on access. If the entire page will not be accessed until the next VACUUM that doesn't change anything, but in OLTP workloads that space will often be reclaimed much earlier.
Doesn't change anything about your larger point though.
I am picturing that this person looked at his agenda last night, saw "Facebook hearing", opened Netflix, and started watching the Social Network. He got bored 20 minutes in and shut off his TV.