Jun 6, 2018

Lawmakers question Zuckerberg's testimony amid new data furor

Mark Zuckerberg testified before congressional panels earlier this year. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Multiple lawmakers say they believe Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg withheld important information about its data sharing agreements with device makers when he testified before several congressional committees in April.

Why it matters: Facebook has been trying to earn the trust of skeptical policymakers for months. This doesn't help.

What they're saying:

  • "[Zuckerberg] never revealed these data sharing agreements in our committee meeting, the hearing in April of this year," said top Senate Commerce Committee Democrat Bill Nelson. "And as a result it’s hard to know what’s true anymore.”
  • "Clearly, the company’s partnerships with Chinese technology companies and others should have been disclosed before Congress and the American people," said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden and top panel Democrat Frank Pallone in a statement. "The spirit of our questions about third-party access to user data should not have required technical knowledge of the legal agreements Facebook has with device manufacturers to get clear answers for the public."
  • "Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have 'complete control' over who sees our data on Facebook," tweeted Rep. David Cicilline after the first story broke about the data sharing arrangements with device makers.
  • Sen. Ed Markey said that Zuckerberg should have to testify again.

Facebook's response: "Mark spent over 10 hours answering hundreds of questions put to him by lawmakers," a Facebook spokesperson said via email. "The arrangements in question had been highly visible for years —with many manufacturers advertising these features. But with fewer and fewer people relying on them, we proactively announced this spring we’d begin winding them down."

Facebook has maintained that the arrangements it had with device makers are not analogous to the data gathering conducted for Cambridge Analytica. It also says that, in the case of Chinese manufacturer Huawei, the user data was never stored on the company's servers.

Go deeper

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 37 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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