Mark Zuckerberg leaves notebook unattended during Senate hearing on data breach

/ 06:25 PM April 12, 2018
Germany Facebook Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a visit at a Facebook Innovation Hub in Berlin, Thursday. Feb. 25, 2016. Image: DPA via AP

It was a moment many found ironic.

Last Tuesday, Facebook magnate Mark Zuckerberg stood before the United States Senate. Zuckerberg testified on the Cambridge Analytica scandal that his social media company had been involved, which left the personal data of 87 million users compromised and improperly shared by the British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.


The hearing lasted five hours, with a 5-minute break around the two-hour mark. It was during this break when Zuckerberg stood and left his notebook open which contained notes on Cambridge Analytica, data safety, Facebook’s business model and election integrity, among others. 

Journalists flocked around Zuckerberg’s unattended notes like flies swarming dung, taking as many snaps as they could. It is unknown whether Zuckerberg left his notebook open on purpose or not, but people found it uncanny due to the nature of the situation.


Scott Stephens (@scottstephens85) from Austin, Texas, shared last April 10 a screen grab of a CNN live video, showing Zuckerberg’s unattended notes. He wrote, “I hope Mr. Zuckerberg does a better job of protecting our data than he does his own. This is a picture of his left-opened notebook during a break at his Congressional hearing. It’s wide open.”

“Zuck left his notes open and out during the recess, so those photos may hit the wires shortly,” wrote Justin Sink, a Bloomberg business journalist last April 10. 

“Someone at @facebook should let Mark know he left this notes out on the desk during the recess,” wrote another Twitter user (@Comfortably Smug). “Journos can take photos of that.”

Later on, photos of the notes circulated on social media, thanks to Associated Press photographer Andrew Harnik who managed to snap photos of them zoomed in. 

A picture of Zuckerberg’s notes, taken by AP photographer Andrew Harnik and shared on Twitter by CBS News editor Stefan Becket. Image: Twitter/Stefan Becket (@becket) via Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik)

“I took 70 photos of Zuck today,” Harnik wrote in reply last April 10 to CBS News editor Stefan Becket, who uploaded his picture. Harnik seemed to be making light of the situation as he added, “Leave it to the writers to love the photograph of pages of text.”

Becket seemingly agreed, as he replied to Harnik in jest, “It’s a very well-framed photograph of pages of text.” JB



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TOPICS: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, notebook, Senate, US Senate
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