Facebook's Top Executive Gets Tough Question From Amazon's CTO at DLD Conference, Reveals Details Regarding Facebook's Preparation for US Presidential Elections Too

What happens when two giants from the tech industry stand head to head for a question-answer session? Well, such has happened recently when one of Facebook’s top executives had to reply back to a tough question by Amazon’s CTO at the Digital Life Design (DLD) Conference in Munich.

Last Monday, Facebook head of communications Nick Clegg was invited for an interview at DLD and out of sheer courteous-ness, he took questions from the audience at the end of his talk. However, little did he know that this move would land him up to a question by Amazon's chief technology officer, Werner Vogels who blatantly asked that as a majority of the users on Facebook don’t really understand that they are being treated as a product for the company, does Facebook really care about making them aware of the fact that such users are actually selling their data without their consent?

While this did put Clegg in an awkward situation for a few seconds, but he then straightforwardly denied the claim and in fact argued that Facebook advertising model works on transparency surrounding data sharing. To cover things up, Clegg even had to agree that the relationship between data sharing and targeted advertising should become more explicit. Hence, Facebook now prefers to let users know in clear terms about how their data is being shared and used for business purposes.

Moreover, according to Clegg, soon there will also be a new tool by Facebook called “Off Facebook Activity” which will enable users to see all the signals that Facebook receives through cookies and pixels when someone walks past a shop or shoe store to be exact.

That being said, Amazon is also not clean. Although their business doesn’t run much on social media advertisements, the company still earns billions of dollars through ads in general on the internet. Amazon depends on a lot on knowing what people purchase and the sites they visit to put their card forward with related products to the end-user.

Besides that, Amazon also owns the security firm Ring that is already facing the criticism of building up an unofficial and huge surveillance network, all with the help of its attached doorbells.

A recent report also predicts that Amazon’s ad business will only grow big to take up the market share of Google and Facebook.

The test of tough questions didn’t end at Werner for Clegg as the former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser also considered this an opportunity to criticize Facebook’s decision of running the political ads without really checking the facts. She stood up to ask why Facebook wants to moderate political content and yet call it censorship?

Clegg, in return, took support of the standards that Facebook has developed along with the law and called it a way to balance things. But yes he also had to agree that Facebook can do much better in order to catch up with cultural, legal, and ethical balances in any modern society.

Going beyond the questions, Clegg also made one big claim that Facebook will not let bad actors abuse its platform and manipulate the results of this year’s US Presidential elections. The company has been very much responsive to any such threat ever since it got plunged into the crisis two years ago; when British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica came out stating that they had used data gathered from millions of unsuspecting users to target US election ads.

Facebook will take strict actions to stop the fake news from being spread across the platform and therefore most extreme political content will be taken off before it gets to the public’s eyes.

Read next: Facebook Will Send Notification for Logins Through Third-Party App

Featured photo: Lino Mirgeler/dpa/Alamy Live News
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