It seems that bad days for Mark Zuckerberg are not going to be over anytime soon. When one thing gets solved, something other adds to the list. The shareholders of Facebook want to sack Mark Zuckerberg from chairman position. Many public fund shareholders of Facebook backed the proposal to remove CEO Mark Zuckerberg from chairman position on the issue of ‘several cases of data breach’. State funds of Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania have invested in Facebook and have good amount of shareholding. New York City public fund also has minor share in Facebook. These public funds have joined hands with hedge fund manager, Trillium Asset Management to oust prodigy billionaire from the chairman post.
State treasures of public funds and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer filed the proposal to make the role of board chair an independent position. The voting on proposal will be held in annual shareholders meeting in May, 2019. “Facebook plays an outsized role in our society and our economy. They have a social and financial responsibility to be transparent – that’s why we’re demanding independence and accountability in the company’s boardroom,” Stringer said. The federal and state governments of United States are not happy with the way Facebook handled recent issues of Russian meddling in American Presidential Election, 2016 and Cambridge Analytica data breach case.
Data security has been major problem with Facebook in recent months. The issue is with revenue model of Facebook, selling user’s private data is major source of revenue for the company except advertisement. The social media giant accepted that it sold user data to four Chinese companies including Honour and Huawei. Recently, Facebook released statement that personal data of more than 14 million (1.4 crore) people has become public between the period of 18th May to 27th May. Before that the company found itself in Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The scandal was first major case where pubic came to know that their private data on Facebook is being used by companies without their consent. The private user data is used to political advertisement targeting and consumer targeting by data analytics companies like Cambridge Analytica. Facebook CEO, Zukerberg had to testify before US Congress in data breach scandal.
The case of data breach is highest in United States. “The United States is still by far and away the most popular target for attacks, representing more than 57 percent of global breaches and accounting for 72 per cent of all records stolen, though overall incidents are down 17 percent over the prior half,” reported digital security firm Gemalto. There are mainly two models of data protection, one being American model and the other one is European model. American model follows the concept of laissez-faire with no significant restriction on breach of personal data while mainland European countries had set up regulators with teeth for data protection. Therefore, the cases of data breach have very high frequency in United States. Recently Twitter has issued statement advising all of its users to change password because all the passwords got saved in text form due to a ‘bug’.
The issue of data breach became more important due to politicization of social media platforms. A few months back Twitter accepted that most of employees are left leaning and there is little space for ideological diversity. Some employees even said that they face kind of segregation to ideological positions. The conservative pages have accused Facebook for ‘shadow banning’ of non-liberal content. The social media platforms need ‘overhaul’ to make sure that they give space to ideological diversity. The ousting of Mark Zuckerberg may be first step in this process.