“Regulation of Social Media Firms Is ‘Inevitable'”
Facebook (NYSE:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a House oversight panel Wednesday that he believes it is “inevitable” there will be regulation of the social media industry and also disclosed to lawmakers that his own data was included in the personal information sold to malicious third parties.
“The internet is growing in importance around the world in people’s lives and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation,” Mr. Zuckerberg said during testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“So my position is not that there should be no regulation, but I also think that you have to be careful about regulation you put in place.”
Larger, more dominant companies like Facebook have the resources to comply with government regulation, he said, but “that might be more difficult for a smaller startup to comply with.”
Lawmakers in both parties have floated possible regulation of Facebook and other tech companies amid privacy scandals and Russian intervention on the platform. It’s not clear what that regulation would look like and Mr. Zuckerberg did not offer any specifics.
His remarks came as he opened the second day of a congressional inquisition in the wake of the worst privacy debacle in his company’s history.
The stakes are high for both Mr. Zuckerberg and his company.
Facebook has been reeling from its worst privacy failure following revelations last month that the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with President Trump’s 2016 campaign, improperly harvested up data on about 87-M users including that of Mr. Zuckerberg.
Mr. Zuckerberg has been on an apology tour for most of the past 2 weeks, culminating in his congressional appearances this week, a tour that appears to be ending in a plea for government regulation that will be a barrier to entry of any new firms entering the Facebook dominant business space.
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