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It's Time to Regulate 'Smart City' Technology, Too

This isn’t just about Facebook: When Google is building cities and cars are turning into data-harvesting machines, the need for laws that protect users has never been more urgent.
Mannequins pose with a self-driving car at a vehicle test track in Canada.
Mannequins pose with a self-driving car at a vehicle test track in Canada.Mark Blinch/Reuters

There’s a reason why one technology reporter compared wide-ranging questions posed by the Senate to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday to “a five-hour tech support call.” The hearing revealed a basic lack of understanding about Facebook’s data-gathering business model and consumer-facing functions.

On Wednesday, day two of Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, House members seemed to have done a little more homework. But even lawmakers who started off sharp wound up leaning on Zuckerberg for advice for regulating his own company. Their tougher questions didn’t add up to a clear picture of what’s gone wrong at the social media giant.