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With Facebook, the myth of "self-regulation," long trotted out by high-paid lobbyists, has been laid to rest once and for all. It has been months since Zuckerberg appeared before the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament, and the most urgent questions about Facebook's business practices remain unanswered.With respect to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is still unclear what Facebook knew, and when it knew it.Facebook claims to have improved its privacy protections.In the long term, though, there is only one surefire way to address the threat that Facebook and other platforms pose to Western democracy: regulation.Just as self-regulation by banks failed to prevent the 2008 financial crisis, so self-regulation in the tech sector has failed to make Facebook a responsible actor.Regulating the tech giants should start with updated competition rules to address the monopoly control of personal data.Such outrageous behavior suggests that Facebook has much to hide.There can be little doubt that monopoly control over millions of people's personal data and the flow of news and information online poses a clear and present threat to democracy.
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