Should Mark Zuckerberg be fired? Security professionals have their say

Does the Cambridge Analytics scandal -- and all the other Facebook privacy snafus -- warrant the removal of its CEO? A survey of security professionals offers their view.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

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When Brook Mahealani Lee of Hawaii competed for (and won) Miss Universe in 1997, she was asked: "If there were no rules in your life, for one day, and you could be outrageous, what would you do?"

She replied: "I would eat everything in the world. You do not understand. I would eat everything twice."

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Some might say this perfectly describes Mark Zuckerberg's outrageous hunger for world domination over the last few years.

Yet here he is, having to tolerate political beauty pageant questions from politicians at home and abroad.

Well, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, he did finally have to concede that Facebook's commitment to privacy and security was about as firm as a chicken's handshake.

But the question you're surely asking yourself is: what do security professionals think?


Mark Zuckerberg did finally have to concede that Facebook's commitment to privacy and security was about as firm as a chicken's handshake.

Are they sitting there muttering that the Facebook CEO should be sanctioned for his apparent dismissiveness of security protocols?

Fortunately, my eyes have descended upon a survey in which 759 security professionals were asked about Facebook and its troubles.

Performed at the RSA Conference last month by security company AlienVault, the survey brazenly asked whether Zuckerberg should be fired.

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A hearty 38 percent insisted he should be. Which means that 62 percent thought he shouldn't.

This must be a great relief to Zuckerberg, who surely feels so put upon by humans and politicians alike.

It also suggests a belief that there are systemic problems beyond the mere power palpitations of one big CEO.

Indeed, 75 percent of these security gurus said that they wanted more government regulation on social media platforms in order to limit how sites like Facebook can use customer data for commercial purposes.

What about GDPR, the European data protection regulation? 69 percent said that they were in favor of it being instituted in the US.

When it comes to Facebook, though, how worried are these security professionals about its security? How many, for example, have deleted their accounts?

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18 percent claimed they'd either previously deleted or never had a Facebook account. As for the latest troubles influencing their Facebooking, a mere 16 percent had recently deleted their accounts.

It's a troubling picture. These security professionals didn't even have a clear view of who should be held responsible for a security breach at a company. They were evenly divided between blaming the board of directors, the CEO and the Chief Information Security Officer.

It's all a mess, one that certain people in Russian bedrooms appear to be enjoying.

That's the problem with security. Currently, it appears to be as vulnerable as truth.

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