Mark Zuckerberg will be headed to Washington. No one knows precisely when or to whom, but he himself has said he would be “happy” to testify.
That he has never been before Congress is one of those minor miracles that only technology companies seem capable of generating through their bulky “policy” (i.e. lobbying) teams and still considerable popularity.
But times are changing and in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica affair, Facebook processes that have been known for years are coming under the most intense scrutiny they’ve ever received. Senator Ron Wyden, for example, has already submitted a formidable list of questions to Facebook.
I’m most interested in pinning down the facts around Cambridge Analytica and political advertising generally. But Facebook is multifaceted, so I reached out to a dozen close observers of the company to see what they wanted to ask Facebook’s CEO.
On Cambridge Analytica
- When the way that Aleksandr Kogan and Cambridge Analytica were using Facebook user data came to light, where in the company was it detected?
- How far up the executive chain did it get?
- What did you know and when did you know it?
- Furthermore, why did eight months pass between the news reports about Cambridge Analytica and the letter Facebook sent asking them to certify they’d deleted the data?
- Who was vested with the power to contact and sanction developers like that?
- In the history of the platform, how many times were developers sanctioned by Facebook for the misuse of Facebook user data?
- Immediately after the Cambridge Analytica story came to Facebook’s attention, did any policy or process change within the company?
- Realistically, enormous amounts of user data have already escaped FB’s platform, irreversibly. Auditing current platform users, as you’ve indicated you’ll do, can’t put the genie back in the bottle, and might even be pointless. So now what?