Readers React: Who cares what Facebook does with your data? Congress has much more serious problems to address

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg departs after testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing in Washington on April 11.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg departs after testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing in Washington on April 11.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared more calm and sincere testifying in Congress than any lawmaker. But I’m not entirely sure why he was even hauled in. (“Senators vented at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — but may leave it at that,” April 10)

I don’t care who accesses my information on Facebook. I really don’t. I’m a big girl. I can navigate targeted ads just fine. And I never take news at face value, fake or otherwise, without conducting my own due diligence. As long as my bank accounts, my home and my family are safe from actual intrusion, I’m good.

Still, manipulating a more vulnerable person should never happen, and because of the internet, increases in this unsavory tactic may require better transparency of all media platforms.


But before focusing on Facebook, our lawmakers should fix voter registration and gerrymandering. Those have far greater influence on election outcomes than any fake news or foreign-sponsored targeted ads on social media.

Lisa Harmon, Yakima, Wash.


To the editor: The chasm between a young innovator who has changed the world (not necessarily for the better) and the more senior senators was so wide and so deep they might as well have been shouting across the Grand Canyon.

Zuckerberg was calm and collected and sat up straight. He was polite and courteous to the elder statesmen conducting this hearing. He looked like he was called into the principal’s office for a good scolding.

Yet underneath that polite exterior, he knew exactly how to outmaneuver the senators. He did not truly answer their probing questions of just how to stop the intrusiveness and prying eyes and ears of this 21st century Big Brother from controlling us.

The internet killed privacy, and now we are just beginning to notice the frightening consequences. It is time to look up from our devices and start paying attention to what is all around us.

Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: The essence of Facebook’s business model is selling users’ personal data to advertisers for micro-targeting and sometimes even fake news. It’s what made Zuckerberg a billionaire.

How about creating an alternative to Facebook called, say, “Safebook”? It would allow users to communicate with friends and family but give them total control over their personal data. It would be less lucrative than Facebook, but maybe it could be organized as a not-for-profit company, a public utility or even a cooperative owned by its users.

Perhaps there are some internet billionaires with a conscience who would invest in “Safebook” so it could compete with Facebook’s quasi-monopoly by offering real privacy.

Miles Mogulescu, Malibu

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