Sep 9, 2020 - Technology

Zuckerberg describes "tension" between data privacy and antitrust regulation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told "Axios on HBO" that calls for data privacy and antitrust regulation in tech are often at odds.

Why it matters: Democrats and Republicans have pushed for antitrust enforcement as a cure for any number of Big Tech ills, and Americans feel frustrated that they don't have more control over their personal data when using digital services.

What he's saying: "On the one hand, a lot of privacy advocates and people writing the regulation are kind of trying to come up with new ways to force companies to lock down people's data, which I think makes sense," Zuckerberg told Axios' Mike Allen.

  • "But then you have the antitrust push, which is generally pushing to try to open up data and make it so that things can be more interoperable."
  • "I think that these are things that need to be decided by democratically elected officials and Congress, which is why I pushed for that. But I don't think that just breaking up the company solves the issues."

Of note: Germany's top court sided with the country's competition regulator in June to rule that Facebook abused its market power by illegally harvesting user data in Germany. Facebook's appeal is still pending, and it said in response to the ruling that there was no antitrust abuse.

Go deeper: Exclusive poll reveals Americans' data privacy frustrations

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Germany's antitrust regulator brought a case on data collection against Facebook, not the country's top court.

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