Facebook’s privacy problem in the era of self-driving cars


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congressional committees on his company’s handling of personal data in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. elections. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG


Shiraz Ahmed, left, is assistant editor for mobility and Katie Burke is Silicon Valley reporter for Automotive News.

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All eyes were on Washington this week as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced Congress to answer for the widespread data-sharing controversy involving political data firm Cambridge Analytica. At one point Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Zuckerberg, “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

“Uh, no,” the tech executive replied.

“If you’ve messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?” Durbin followed up.

“Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here,” Zuckerberg said.

“I think that might be what this is all about — your right to privacy, the limits of your right to privacy and how much you’d give away in modern America,” Durbin said.

Durbin’s point, that most people wouldn’t agree to share much of the information they inadvertently do by using Internet services, is an issue that could be magnified in the age of shared autonomous vehicles.

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