Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, told the US Senate about the data leak from the social network and its relationship with third-party app developers including data companies like Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg has not had the best weeks of his life lately. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the filtering of data from the platform; It is very likely that he has not slept a whole lot while on his trip to Washington.
Lawmakers called on the CEO to explain himself, ask questions about his company operations, and shed some light to the rumors that have been swirling around the internet regarding their data practices. Normally he speaks to the public, as himself, through his social network. Engaging his followers in the comments, answering some questions and dodging most. But this time was different. This time he was on the hot seat. Answering questions from people who could potentially dictate how the multi-billion dollar communications company operates in the future. If you didn’t know what you were watching, it seemed like Mr. Zuckerberg was on trial!
Thursday morning a major fall in shares of Facebook was reported, but after Mark Zuckerberg faced the questions of the Senate the shares recovered with an increase of almost 3%; reflecting a good response from investors. So after ten hours of testimony, the CEO of Facebook gained almost 3 billion dollars because he has more than 401 million shares of the most popular social network in the world. It is mentioned that in total, Facebook shares have gained 4.5% since the start of operations on Tuesday morning after his first statements
These are some key points from the hearings:
Mark Zuckerberg before the US Congress
The first sensation left yesterday by Zuckerberg’s statement; it’s that he does not know things. Many of these things being paramount for the functioning of Facebook. Or at least that’s what he said. “Senator, I do not have that information.” “I do not know,” were phrases with which we became familiar as the hours of this meeting passed.
Perhaps in this area one of the most remarkable things is when Zuckerberg said not to know if Facebook follows you “spying” even when you close your web session. That is, if you know everything you do on the Internet. And well … it seems to me that users in general know more about this than he does himself.
The statement began with a robotic speech and clearly memorized; to the point of asking us his Mark had sent his protocol robot to supply it in such an uncomfortable moment.
“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry, I started Facebook, I run it, I’m responsible for what happens here,” said the CEO of the most powerful social network in the world. But that was not news either, since he had already apologized during the scandal; maybe just at the moment he felt between the sword and the wall.
Something else: Mark confirmed that Cambridge Analytica may not be the only company that took advantage of user data. In fact, they are investigating others, although he did not delve into names. And speaking of CA; it’s been confirmed that they knew in 2015 about this data leak, although he assured that they faced the company and they told them that the data had not only not been used; but they had been eliminated completely. It was a lie and Zuckerberg said he was sorry he believed the company’s word.
Facebook and advertising
An important issue that for years has been on everyone’s mind was also touched: Does the social network listen to the users with the microphone of their cell phone to focus on advertising? Mark rejected this theory (once again, it is not the first) with a resounding NO. Are you sure, Mark? We have all seen it, we have all felt it. But it seems that this will remain an urban legend without confirmation for a while longer.
On the other hand; one of the senators told Zuckerberg that when he speaks, for example, of chocolate with his friends; start to see this advertising on Facebook. He asked if there will be a way to pay (with money) for advertising to stop harassing him. Zuckerberg said no. You can run away, but do not hide from the ads on Facebook.
One of the most iconic moments of the afternoon was when a senator asks how the CEO of Facebook does to support a company that provides free services. “Senator, we run ads.” You can see that magical moment of Zuckerdroid above. Here something was clear: Facebook is not free, you pay being a target for advertising. But, come on, we already knew that.
Is Facebook a monopoly?
Mark was asked who are the competitors of Facebook. He talked about Google, of course. Also from Amazon; even from Microsoft, but the senator stopped him. He wanted to know what his direct competence was; another social network that was like Facebook and did what they did. There is not. At this, Zuck was asked: “Will not you have a monopoly?” He replied that he does not see it that way. Only that.
We know you do not read the terms and conditions … and Mark knows it too
Do you really read them? No. Almost nobody does it. And our friend Zuckdroid knows it and has no qualms about saying it.
“I am a lawyer and I do not understand what it means (with a thick stack of papers in your hand), do you think that ‘average’ people understand this?”, Referring to Facebook’s terms and conditions. “I do not think average people read it,” says Zuckerberg. It’s that simple and so successful. But there is a problem: even if they try to read it, they probably do not understand it; It is not a light or friendly reading.
These were just some of the high points of Mark Zuckerberg’s statement yesterday; but the story continues. Stay tuned for more on this story through the coming weeks.
Illinois towns prepare for new small cell towers
Fifth Generation (5G) data service may soon be coming to Illinois. Adding 5G should provide another leap in speed and reliability to internet service around the state. But the new technology requires new physical infrastructure. Unlike the giant cell towers used be previous generations, 5G uses “small cell” towers to provide coverage. Small cell towers take up just a few cubic feet of space. Because of their size, these towers can be placed on existing utility poles and other structures.
In April, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law to help facilitate the rollout of the new technology. This bill greatly constrains the ability of municipalities to restrict how and where the small cell towers could be installed. It also capped the fees that municipalities could charge cell providers to use their poles. These caps preempted existing ordinances, including those in Springfield and Chatham.
The timer starts
The new law became effective on June 1st. Even though the old ordinances had been preempted, cities were only given two months to draft new ordinances. According to Jacksonville’s City Attorney Daniel Beard, the time constrains add another challenge to an already complex issue. Fortunately, the Illinois Municipal League has helped by providing a sample ordinance for cities to work off of.
Both the Jacksonville City Council and Chatham Village Board discussed this issue at their last meetings. Jacksonville approved drafting the new rules, and should be discussing them at their next meeting. Chatham is likewise actively looking to replace their old ordinance. They should have little trouble adopting a new ordinance by the deadline.
But Springfield may be less prepared on this issue. While several aldermen I spoke with were aware that Springfield’s old rules had been preempted, they were not aware of any new ordinance coming through the pipeline. Mayor Jim Langfelder explained that Springfield has a complex relationship with cell provider AT&T, which has delayed adopting new rules. He assured me that new rules are being drafted, and thinks they should be ready before the August 1st deadline.
Nationwide Comcast landline outage affecting Springfield businesses
Yesterday a nationwide Comcast landline outage was reported but it wasn’t until Thursday morning that businesses felt the pain locally. Leland Grove Police Department tweeted that their phone system was down as well as the Springfield YMCA, at 12:45pm. So, if you are unable to reach your favorite business it could be due to this outage.
Comcast phone lines are down. If you have an emergency please call 911. If you need an Officer to respond, please call 753-6666 and request an Officer be dispatched to your address.
— Leland Grove (@LelandGrovePD) June 7, 2018
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Comcast says service has been restored for most of its customers but still out in some areas of the country. “We experienced a service interruption today with our Comcast Business Voice and VoiceEdge Select services and we apologize,” a company spokesperson said. “Our engineers began working to address the issue immediately and services have been restored for most of our customers. We recognize that some customers are still impacted and we expect the issue to be fully resolved shortly. We have every resource focused on getting everyone back online and apologize again to the customers who were affected
Outage Update: Phone services for most customers have been restored. Unfortunately, a small group continue to see issues. We are working hard to restore services to all and apologize for this inconvenience. For further assistance: https://t.co/0jurMjmRaQ
— Comcast Business (@comcastbusiness) June 7, 2018
Illinois planning for self-driving cars, eventually
Illinois will have self-driving cars – eventually – and the Illinois State Police will be ready for them when they hit the streets.
In the meantime, there are unanswered questions about autonomous vehicles. For example, who gets a ticket if a self-driving car breaks the law? That’s just one of the questions that have yet to be answered about the future of autonomous vehicles in Illinois.
“We are learning from what’s being done in other places,” ISP Director Leo Schmitz said. “I think we know the future is autonomous vehicles, in some way. So we’re preparing. And we’re constantly looking at how we’re going to handle that, and how it works.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner said Illinois is looking to Arizona and California, two states that he says have a lot more experience with self driving cars.
Uber Technologies Inc. recently announced it was winding down its self-driving vehicle program in Arizona. The decision came two months after Arizona barred Uber from testing when one of the company’s robot cars struck and killed a pedestrian. Uber plans to continue its autonomous-car programs in three other North American cities, including San Francisco, according to media reports.
“We’re monitoring it to try and stay ahead of it for the people of Illinois, while understanding that the future is heading toward this type of technology,” Rauner said.
The governor said the goal is to make sure Illinois is at the cutting edge, but only if it can be done safely.
Article by Benjamin Yount, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org
Video Credit: State of Illinois | Illinois News Network. – Gov. Bruce Rauner speaking on the technology.