The Key Takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg's Meeting With the EU
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On Tuesday, we found out in just how many different languages you can say, “Mark Zuckerberg, explain yourself for misusing the information of millions of users.”
In only his second (known) appearance in a suit, Zuck fielded questions from leaders across the EU, including:
Is Facebook a monopoly?
What does Facebook intend to do about elections?
Will Facebook be GDPR compliant?
And seriously, why haven’t you poked me back?
So, why is Mark still under the spotlight? Well, after his two-day playdate with Congress (which didn’t accomplish as much as some had hoped), the EU Parliament wanted its shot at the king.
And remember: If the U.S. is the good cop when it comes to data privacy regulation, the EU is the bad cop.
Our favorite bad cop moment:
“You have to ask yourself how you will be remembered. As one of the three big internet giants together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who have enriched our world and societies, or on the other hand, the genius that created a digital monster that is destroying our democracies and our societies.” -- Belgian representative Guy Verhofstadt.
So what were the takeaways?
Facebook has a lot of “top priorities” right now (read: keeping elections free from interference, monitoring bad content, data privacy, people over profits, you name it).
“No” -- Facebook is not a monopoly (per Zuck).
“Yes” -- AI will improve to better report and remove bad content.
“No” -- It’s impossible to completely eradicate fake news, but they’re hiring more security staffers to fight back.
“Yes” -- It’ll be fully compliant with GDPR.
GDPR? General Data Protection Regulation -- the EU’s sweeping regulation on user data privacy that goes into effect this Friday. It’s the official list of what companies “can” and “can’t” do with European consumer data.
If you get caught breaking the rules ... that’ll cost you 4 percent of your worldwide revenue ($2.8 billion for Facebook).
Bottom line: Yesterday was just another stop in Zuck’s apology tour -- he’ll be in Paris today to discuss using tech for good (no surprise, Uber will also be there). But, the real test will be turning apologies into actions.
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