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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Facebook CEO Stays Quiet Over Data Scandal; Sarah Sanders Dodges Question on Russian Election; Trump Meets with Saudi Crown Prince; Toyota Pauses Autonomous Car Testing Program; U.K. Asks Mark Zuckerberg to Testify at Fake News Inquiry; Facebook Investors Fear Regulation Loss of Users; Fifth Explosion in Texas Hits FedEx Facility; FedEx Makes 1.53 Billion from Tax Bill; United Airlines Suspends Pet Travel in Cargo Holds
Aired March 20, 2018 - 17:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(CLOSING BELL RINGING ON WALL STREET)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Now, you look at that "Stars & Stripes," that sound of course marks the end of yet another day on Wall
Street. And take a look here, you can actually see that it was not a drop of red, not a drop of red at all, we were firmly in the green the whole
day, we ended the day up a triple digit -
Certainly, a rebound after yesterday after that Facebook data scandal we saw yesterday so a rebound, the markets are squarely focused over the next
two days on what happens with the Fed and raising interest rates we'll see about that tomorrow.
Oh, and it is Tuesday, March 20th.
Tonight, lawmakers worldwide demand to grill Marc Zuckerberg; the E.U. Justice Commissioner tells us tonight a full investigation maybe next.
And social media stocks thrive as Facebook share price drop even further.
And Toyota gives a timeout to its autonomous cars after a fatal Uber crash.
Hello my friends, I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
All right welcome everyone as the calls grow form Marc Zuckerberg to be held accountable for the Facebook data scandal tonight the E.U. is warning
there could be a fraud investigation, there could be a fraud investigation because data was allegedly used without users' permissions.
So inside and outside of Facebook, inside and outside of Facebook there is growing frustrations about the fact that we really haven't heard anything
from Marc Zuckerberg the CEO, complete radio silence from him however there has been plenty of noise from the E.U., the U.K., Congress and the Federal
Trade Commission as well, they all want to know whether Facebook user data was improperly used.
Facebook share price still suffering, down another 2 1/2 percent around 50 billion, $50 billion has been wiped off the value of Facebook just this
week, so just in the past few days.
What you won't find comments though on Marc Zuckerberg's Facebook page, lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic say it is certainly well overdue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMIAN COLLINS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY MP: I think the time is come where someone out the company like Marc Zuckerberg whose job it is to
understand every detail of what Facebook does, they he - that he actually now takes a public position and answers questions on this because our
experience of dealing with Facebook in the past is you often get you know, evasive answers, partial answers to questions, people saying they don't
have the information.
But now is the time for the people who do have the information to speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), CHAIR, STEERING COMMITTEE: I think he should explain to the American people how this happened, how many people were
hurt, and most importantly how they're going to fix it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE: I think that we ought to have the testimony not only of
the Facebook CEO but I think the CEOs of other major social media platforms that the Russians exploited during the campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), MEMBER SENATE COMMITTEES ON APPROPRIATIONS; BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS; BUDGET; COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY;
SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: I'd like Mr. Zuckerberg to come. Last time he sent his lawyers, I don't know what he pays, them but they did
a damn good job because they didn't say anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Well you can see that, a lot of lawmakers in the United States really, really want answers from Marc Zuckerberg right now.
Earlier the European Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourova told me she believes that Facebook broke E.U. rules.
VERA JOUROVA, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSUMERS: In our rules already now, we have clearly stipulated that the processing of data
of private date of people can be only done under the condition of the well- informed consent of each individual.
So, what's happening now or what we know about recent scandal is that millions of people and their data were processed and harvested without
their content - consent and we are going to launch the investigations in several member states starting with the United Kingdom to find the facts
and the information about what happened and to what extent our data protection rules have been breached.
And according to what we know about it now the rules have been breached, the United Kingdom is looking also at criminal law conditions because there
might be even fraud found so they - there will be the procedure launched very soon and it will be coordinated across the whole E.U. because it must
be that there is also for some other member states.
ASHER: OK but in terms of figuring out and getting to the bottom of what happened what questions would you like to see answered specifically by Marc
JOUROVA: What are - there are many questions I would like to ask Facebook how is it possible that they disappointed the trust of the people who gave
them their privacy - private data and who didn't expect that the data will be [0:05:13] abused in such a way that later they will be manipulated ahead
of the elections.
I think that these are very threatening facts or developments and we have very serious concerns that such practices could be detrimental to democracy
and to the fundamental rights of individual people so that's why I have a lot of questions I want to ask also Facebook and I will very probably write
a letter with several questions for instance why Facebook hasn't - haven't - didn't react earlier, why there was not early enough notification to the
Many other questions and of course we have the obligation to ask because we must be much better in protecting the privacy of people.
ASHER: Here's the thing, just you know, according to Facebook, this is - this is basically an honest mistake. Essentially, they trusted this
academic researcher, Cambridge, Aleksandr Kogan and he was the one who mishandled the data so if this is just an honest mistake, if this is just
an honest mistake, should we be careful about going too far in terms of how the E.U. punishes Facebook for this?
JOUROVA: I would not call it a mistake but for sure it's going too far. I am personally very sensitive about manipulation of the - of the people and
just imagine you entrust somebody you give him your data and then you find out that it has been abused and you were the object of manipulation.
We in Europe are very sensitive about that, that's why we want to have the consent of all the individuals when they are providing their data to
understand what is the purpose for which the IT company asks for the data and what will be happening with the data.
And from May this year, we will have even stricter rules so which will give more rights to the individuals.
And here I see the deputy in the European Union and the United States legislation because we are more careful and more sensitive and more strict
on the protection of privacy of people.
ASHER: Yes, the European Union - Europeans are certainly more strict but in terms of - in terms of a solution it's not just about individuals
figuring out privacy settings and that sort of thing it's also about Facebook creating new policies about how it handles third-party access to
its data, that's really the key here, third-party access?
JOUROVA: It has to be the subject of investigation, what happens there. In my view Facebook should have been much more careful and keep asking
about the purpose may be not believe so easily that there is the research going on and when they had the first indication that something goes wrong,
they should've asked Cambridge Analytica to delete the data and not to use it anymore.
I think that something has been neglected or was neglected some time ago and we want to understand better what exactly happened and who should be
blamed for what.
And European Union is known for imposing quite drastic sanctions in such cases and we will not hesitate to use this follow-up because this case
might be also used as a deterrent case for the future possible cases.
ASHER: All right no sign of this man, you see on your screen, Facebook see of course, Marc Zuckerberg one of the most recognizable CEOs in the world.
However, Facebook tells us that it will brief, it will brief multiple congressional committees.
Right joining us now is Laurie Segall.
So, Laurie here's what I don't get, why on earth would it make sense for Marc Zuckerberg to stay silent at a time like this?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT & CNN TECH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I mean I think it's a question we are all asking. We as
the press, we ask that question we want to hear from him, the public wants to hear from him, and what's really interesting to me is actually Facebook
executives people have told me, high level executive within the company have said, we want to hear him too (ph).
ASHER: They don't get it either.
SEGALL: You know, I think this is a very protective story. There's a lot of nuance there and Marc Zuckerberg, Cheryl Sandberg these are brand names,
people want to talk to them at this time and there's this feeling from a couple of folks I spoke to that he gets involved too late, he's not getting
his hands dirty, he's always very involved behind the scenes.
You know, a lot of folks will say he's a very respected leader, he is in all these meetings, he is very, very, involved in these important
conversations, we as the public when we look at our data when we look at what's happened, when we look at all of these challenging questions, the
weaponization (ph) of Facebook over the last year for democracy, what it's doing to mental health, we [0:05:14] want the leader Facebook to step
forward and I think there's growing pressure mounting not just with us here, with the public but within the company for him to speak publicly on
ASHER: And in terms of you know, you talked about Marc Zuckerberg and the Facebook team just being in crisis meetings all day, just in terms of where
they go from here, their priority is not just you know, meeting with lawmakers it's also figuring out a way to regain the public trust at a time
that this, how do they do that?
SEGALL: I think that it's so important, I think transparency is going to one of the biggest things you know, Marc might not like to speak what I
want to remind you, this isn't self-serving, I want to remind you that I spoke to him in June and he actually was talking about his role as a leader
in this moment in time, he said to me at the time, he wants to make the world a better place, take a listen?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARC ZUCKERBERG, CEO FACEBOOK: I just feel like we have a responsibility to do more in the world.
Right and when you look at the world today, you know, giving people a voice and helping people connect our good and have made the world better in a lot
of ways but our society still very divided right and that means that people need to work proactively to help bring people closer together, it's not
just enough to help or simply connect we need to work to bring the world closer together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: And I think you could argue that at this moment Facebook hasn't brought the world closer together and I think we are actually at this point
ASHER: I'm - I'm going to be the opposite (ph) actually.
SEGALL - Yes, and I think we all asking these questions and what I think when you ask the question about what can they do you know, a lot of the
leaders I spoke to behind closed doors say that we are having these massively important ethical questions about the future that come along with
this you know, with having a platform this size, they say we want to have these conversations.
You know, one person said to me you know, cracking down on fake news is important but it can also lead to censorship of independent news, we have
to have these ethical conversations; these are conversations that should be a public discussion and I think we as the public because our data is out
there we are hearing more about it, we want to know and be a part of these discussions as well.
ASHER: It does feel like a watershed moment for Facebook -
ASHER: - where people you know, there's a reckoning really.
Laurie Segall, live for us, thank you -
SEGALL: Thank you.
ASHER: - so much, yes.
OK so meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica has suspended its chief executive after he was secretly filmed boasting, boasting about using dirty tricks to
The data firm says Alexander Nix's comments with an undercover reporter, "Channel 4" do not reflect the values of the company and promised a full
Nick Paton Walsh is joining us live now from London with more on this.
So, Nick when you look at parts of this documentary, aside from talking about entrapping political opponents with bribery and sex and that sort of
thing, there was one line that really caught my attention by Nix in this documentary where he talks about, he said, 'it doesn't have to be true, it
just have to be believed.' It does not have to be true, it just have to be believed.
In terms of targeting voters in and around election campaign, where do you draw the line between persuasion and outright manipulation?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I should point out too Cambridge Analytica in that same undercover filming say they
are not in the business of fake news or providing false information but yes, you know, there's a lot in what they say undercover as well, I should
point out, which they claim is scripted and edited to work in - against them, a lot there that doesn't necessarily make them the most trustworthy
And certainly, the company's own decision to suspend their CEO Alexander Nix certainly speaks you might say volumes to quite how they feel about the
allegations being perceived and certainly they have a big struggle with their message as a messaging company over the past couple of days.
The decision to suspend Mr. Nix actually emerged minutes before "Channel 4 News" broadcast the third of their reports about the company's use of data
and political moves there.
But your point earlier about whether the truth matters still or not is a key sensitivity here as well because they talk about yes, well you can't
fight elections on facts, well you shouldn't fight elections on facts, you should fight them on emotions and I think that plays certainly to wire
their story may be chimes with so many people at this stage.
After here in the United Kingdom seeing the Brexit vote go through in the favor towards leaving the European Union, some say based on many spurious
promises by lead (ph) campaigners; by Donald Trump's much I think it's fair to say heralded use of falsity at times and his election as well, it may
well be that social media in the eyes of many now is perhaps being viewed less as a sort of a tool, as Laurie was saying of bringing the world
together, making us more closer to each other and perhaps way over sort of amplifying falsity or certain opinions that may not be necessarily given to
you because they are true, may be given to you because actually they sort of play on various chords and amplifier fears and make you vote in a
ASHER: Yes. If anything, someone argued it is actually made the world a lot more divisive.
Just in terms of Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica, has it been proven that he did use all the tactics that he talked about in that "Channel 4"
documentary or was it a mix of you know, bravado and [0:05:14] exaggeration?
PATON WALSH: I certainly have to say, when I heard him talk about the idea of using Ukrainian sex workers and undercover filming of an - of opposition
politician accepting a bribe, I thought to myself, well why on earth would you need to spend millions hiring outside consultants, suggests too of a
more hand-fisted way of compromising a political candidate.
So, you could perhaps argue that by suggesting those he was to somewhat degree lazy.
The other I - things suggested by his colleagues I mean that was clear to some degree that they were selling their previous products and some of the
undercover filming suggested they'd massively influenced recent elections in Kenya, obviously we don't know the full extent of that there, we don't
know the full extent really there.
Their influence on the U.S. election campaign, in fact indeed they say, some of the data harvested was done too late to be any use them at all in
the work that they did in Donald Trump's selection in 2016 but certainly you're presented with the idea of a man who has a pretty broad moral
contest to some degree in terms of what he's willing to offer although I should point out he defends himself by saying, in those circumstances he
was in fact going along with a ridiculous suggestion by the undercover reporter from Sri Lanka or allegedly that "Channel 4" put in front of him.
So, a confused situation in terms of its context but it leaves you certainly questioning exactly what kind of role consultancies like
Cambridge Analytica genuinely have in the political process and quite what's that's doing to states of democracy around the world.
ASHER: A broad moral contest as you put it. Interesting way of putting it, OK.
Nick Paton Walsh live for us there.
PATON WALSH: I'm being euphemistic. All right.
ASHER: Thank you so much, appreciate that.
OK so everybody wants a moment with Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury Secretary faces his G20 colleagues as many secret explanations and exemption from
President Trump's steel tariffs, up next [0:01:56].
ASHER: A very welcome back everybody.
So, the crisis at Facebook is dragging down social media stocks across the board. Facebook and Snap, the maker of Snapchat each fell as you see there
2 1/2 percent on Tuesday and look at that, Twitter, Twitter down more than 10 percent. By the way going back to Facebook, you know, they were just
down 2 1/2 percent today, so far this week over the past couple of days they have lost more than $50 billion, $50 billion in market value just this
Twitter as I mentioned down $0.10, that's a one-month low and in to a correction technically, down more than 10 percent; shares started plunging
when Israel justice minister threatened legal action against the company, the minister said, "Twitter does not do enough of a good job in terms of
removing terrorist material."
So much to talk about, Claire Sebastian, joining us now.
So, here's the thing, it does feel Claire, especially after yesterday, it does feel that we've reached this watershed moment, right where people are
just having less patience for less tolerance for these tech companies and the amount of power they wield over data, we haven't really seen investors
take flight in this way before because -
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT & CNN MONEY: Right.
ASHER: - when you talk about fifty billion dollars-worth of [0:05:13] value being shed off Facebook that is no small thing.
SEBASTIAN: Right. And I think it is interesting you know, we saw the worst days of Facebook in four years yesterday and I saw might've thought
that people might buy on the dip today and that wasn't to be.
And I think it's worth in the context of investors taking their emotion out of this issue to the extent you look at what - when Facebook and Twitter
and Snap report earnings, what people are looking for is user growth and ad growth and this scandal could affect both of those.
You have the letter from the FTC today, this could affect the whole way that Facebook does business. You've got the issue of user growth and the
Zeitgeist just went on the list but around social media it's - it's changing, you've got hashtag-delete-Facebook going around on Twitter,
people are starting to talk more about this.
And I want to bring in Ross Gerber, he's a veteran tech investor and he says he selling out of Facebook, at least most of his holdings there, take
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSS GERBER, VETERAN TECH INVESTOR & FACEBOOK SHAREHOLDER: I think - we're at peak social, this is the abuse of the public's trust that is beyond
And when you look at the problems we've had with Brexit in England and in the United States with the divisiveness and the rise in hate, crimes and
the - just the bad state of the world, we have to hold accountable that social media is not just about fun anymore, it's completely manipulated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: So, you know, the sentiment around social media, his worry is that is - it's changing essentially and I think you know, he's not - he
does - they're - not everyone thinks so.
Well I've spoken to another investor today, he says look, Facebook isn't just about Facebook, it also has Messenger, it also was Instagram, and it
also has WhatsApp out there, there are other properties there.
Some people will be looking at the price of that stock today and thinking oh maybe this is time to come in, they are still strongly, are still making
a lot of money but I think we are in a moment, and I think you should see that by the second day of fall.
ASHER: Let's talk about Twitter, down 10 percent. This is significant because in part and obviously social media is suffering right now but this
is in part because Israel is threatening legal action against Twitter because Twitter isn't doing enough they say to combat you know, sort of
terrorism instigation that happens on social media.
This is not the first time we've seen social media being used by you know, lone-wolf attackers for example or persuading people to join different
terrorist groups but it does seem that the Israelis now certainly have a lot less patience for this?
SEBASTIAN: Absolutely. And the justice minister in particular has been - has been particularly focused on this, she takes a Twitter this week and
said you know, look we've - we've dealt with this in the past, with Facebook in 2016, she met with Facebook exec and they apparently complied
with a lot of her requests to take down content that they felt was inciting violence.
She said they've asked Twitter to do the same, Twitter haven't responded and now she says they're threatened legal action.
But I think you can't see this separate from the rest of the context that's going on, this is the broader issue of fear among investors that platforms
like Facebook, like Twitter are not in full control of their data, they don't seem to have full control over the types of content that is on their
ASHER: Incredible. Especially what Ross Gerber said about you know, we're seeing you know, pushing against not this fun, happy, place anymore you
know, there is serious manipulation going on, that was quite chilling I find. OK.
Clare Sebastian, thank you so much, appreciate that.
Alright so, despite the social media rout, all three major U.S. markets ended the day in the green, let's take a look here.
OK so, at the end of the day, up 116 points, that earlier turnaround from what we saw yesterday, the Dow finished up nearly a half of a percent. All
eyes now turn to the Fed which is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, they are in a two-day meeting right now, the big question all of
you will have is how frequently will we see interest rate rises this year although as I mentioned, they are expected to raise rates tomorrow.
All right, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted today that U.S. trade policy is not about protectionism but free and fair trade. Mnuchin spoke
after attending 15 meetings at a summit of G20 Finance ministers in Buenos Aires.
The Treasury secretary is under pressure to explain, people want answers, he has to explain President Trump's new tariffs, a number of countries are
seeking exemptions from Mnuchin are also weighing retaliate or measures at the same time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY, US: There's always a risk if we put tariffs on that other people will reciprocate and there is a risk of a
trade war. As the president has said, we are not afraid of getting into a trade war given the size of our market, the size of our economy and the
fact that we have a big trade deficit.
Having said that, that's not our goal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Earlier Tuesday, China's premier pledged to further open the country's economy adding he hoped that both the U.S. and China would act
rationally and not be led by emotions into a trade war.
Challenging moment certainly for the U.S. Treasury secretary.
Patrick Gillespie joins us live now, so here's the thing, you and I discussed this earlier, Steve Mnuchin is a free trader, much like Gary Cohn
PATRICK GILLESPIE, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
ASHER: - how on earth did he go to a meeting with G20 and defend something [0:05:14] that deep down we all know that he doesn't really believe in?
GILLESPIE: Zain, Mnuchin is between a 'rock and a hard place' because he has to defend the White House trade policy which he has tried to steer away
from the most extreme measures and sweeping tariffs, at the same time he has to assuage these concerns that the U.S. isn't about to spark a global
But as you mentioned several countries from South Korea to Argentina, to France, Germany, Italy, they are seeking exemptions at these meetings and
they're not getting them.
And you know, Mnuchin tries to call the concern there by saying, 'well exemptions will come relatively quickly,' he told that to "The New York
Times" but you're not getting any more -
ASHER: But -
GILLESPIE: - specificity.
ASHER: - you have until Friday right, so this is like three days, the tariffs are supposed to go into effect on Friday (INAUDIBLE) -
GILLESPIE: The deadline -
ASHER: - three days -
GILLESPIE: - is coming up -
ASHER: - So how does he pick - if everybody -
GILLESPIE: - this is the last opportunity countries have to get a face-to- face with the U.S. administration.
ASHER: - but if everybody is begging him, you know, "Oh, you know, Steve, can we get an exemption; can our country get an exemption?" How does he
choose who is friend and who is foe?
GILLESPIE: - Well, this is - the kind of opacity of the administration. They are not showing - they say there isn't a one-size-fits-all you know,
metric or test to make country exempt and so every country is saying, you've - you've got countries like Argentina, which I would think would not
be a threat to U.S. national security, saying, "We import less than one percent of your steel. You know, we are not a risk of - we're not a
national security risk to you,' and still the U.S. administration is saying, "Will think about it."
ASHER: But here's - years the thing, President Trump has talked about defending national security and we can't have imports in terms of steel and
aluminum because you know, we've got to defend national security. However, Mnuchin sort of change his language a little bit and talked about 'national
interests' as opposed to 'national security,' why do you think he did that?
GILLESPIE: Well I think it gets to the core of that he doesn't you know, he has tried to walk back some of these most extreme trade measures Zain
and so, when he adjusts the language a bit he, you know, he let - it allows him to say, 'well there is economic interest of play; there's jobs at
play.' It -
ASHER: Could it be that it's quite difficult to push something you don't believe in yourself?
GILLESPIE: - OK.
ASHER: Maybe I shouldn't say that; I shouldn't say that, sorry, sorry.
GILLESPIE: I think it is difficult for him because you know, - before Gary Cohn left, it was Mnuchin and Gary Cohn who were postponing these specific
tariffs, these were supposed to happen last summer Zain, and Gary Cohn and Mnuchin said, 'let's push it back for the last minute.'
Well, we are at that last-minute right now and now Mnuchin is still in the hot seat and he has to you know, be front-and-center in front of these
countries saying, 'listen we are not going to start a trade war but we're not going to tell you if we're going to hit you with tariffs.'
ASHER: Oh, I do - I do not envy him at all.
OK, Patrick Gillespie, thank you.
GILLESPIE: Sure, we'll see on Friday.
ASHER: Thank you.
All right, coming up British lawmakers call for answers from Facebook, we'll hear from an MP who wants Marc Zuckerberg himself, he wants Marc
Zuckerberg himself to testify at an inquiry into fake news, that's next [0:02:59].
[17:30:00] ZAIN ASHER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up in the next top hour on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, the
head of U.K.'s parliament media committee says why it's time for Mark Zuckerberg to appear before British lawmakers.
And United Airlines ground its tech cargo business after sending too many dogs to the wrong destination. But first though, these are the top
business headlines for you at this hour.
Regulators and lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic are growing in their cause for Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg to speak about the data scandal of
the social media giant. Speaking to me on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Europe's Justice Commissioner says she believes data protection rules have been
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VERA JOUROVA, COMMISSIONER, JUSTICE, CONSUMERS & GENDER EQUALITY, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: According to what we know about it now, the rules have been
breached. The United Kingdom is looking also at criminal law or conditions, because of that it might be even fraud found.
So there will be a procedure launched very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: White House Press Secretary dodged a question Tuesday about whether the Russian election was free and fair. They came up after President
Donald Trump said he congratulated Russian president Vladimir Putin on his reelection on Sunday.
That drew rebuke from Republican Senator John McCain. Mr. Trump met in the Oval Office, Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and then
may sat down for working lunch.
Prince Mohammed's reformist methods and the promise of Saudi investment in the U.S. have made him slightly quite popular with the Trump
All right, so Toyota is pausing its driverless car testing in the wake of the fatal scandal involving an autonomous Uber car in Arizona. The car
maker says Uber's incident is certainly unrelated to them, but it could certainly have an emotional effect on its drivers.
I want to bring in Samuel Burke who is following the story. So Samuel, do we expect other car companies and other tech companies to follow suit? Just
so far, it's just Uber and Toyota.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: It certainly wouldn't surprise me, Zain, because I think there's an incredible amount of
pressure on the people who are behind the wheel of the self-driving cars.
It sounds like a contradicting -- contradiction, but almost all of these vehicles certainly in Arizona have somebody behind the wheel. And of
course, the first thing that people say when they hear this story is, if there was a driver behind the wheel during this incident in Tempe, why
weren't they able to stop it?
So I actually just spoke with somebody who has one of these jobs in Arizona, and said that they feel the pressure, people don't realize how
difficult it can be to be at the wheel of a car that's driving all the time.
It's easy to disengage even though it's your job when you're not actively doing it and you're passive the whole time. So they do feel this sense of
pressure, so I wouldn't be surprised if other companies follow the steps that Toyota had taken.
But this is just a temporary measure, and let's be honest, this is the future of driving. We know that people will get back behind the wheel of
these driverless cars, and I'm sure that Uber's program will continue much sooner than later.
ASHER: But are we going to see lease -- I mean, you mentioned, it's just temporary, fine. But are we going to see at least types of regulation in
the mean time while they sort of figure this out.
Temporary regulation that block these driverless cars from testing in public streets.
BURKE: I actually just spoke to an executive at one of these companies who said that he doesn't expect that in large part, maybe some small measures
here and there. Arizona, the state where this is happened, it's actually a hot bed of self-driving development.
And the state there, the governor has touted this as a real strong commerce point for Arizona, so there will likely be a pause, but they expect because
this is benefitting a state like Arizona, even with this terrible strategy for it to go on.
But Zain, this is a learning moment, not just for humans, but for the actual cars. It's terrible to say this, but this is an important data
point. You don't want to think of a life as a data point, but that's exactly what it has to be so that the cars can learn from this incident,
see what they did wrong so that it doesn't happen again.
Remember the goal of this self-driving technology is to eliminate all of the human error that causes fatal accidents or non-fatal accidents. Of
course, this time around, that's much harder to show.
[17:35:00] But it's a lot like fear of flying, everybody has it, even though statistically it's very unlikely. Yes, there's this uncomfortable
sense around this tragedy, but almost all the numbers would show demonstrably that self-driving is much safer than us humans behind the
ASHER: Right, but perhaps, there should be some changes to make sure that it's easy for the drivers behind the driverless cars to actually stop it in
the wake of potential accidents.
All right, Samuel Burke, live for us there, thank you so much. OK, guys, back to our top story tonight. British lawmakers want Mark Zuckerberg to
testify at a parliamentary inquiry instead of fake news.
Earlier on, I spoke to the man leading those cause, conservative MP Damian Collins, and I asked him what he wants to hear from the Facebook CEO.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMIAN COLLINS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR FOLKESTONE & HYTHE: The questions that we asked when we had a policy hearing with Facebook in Washington last
month which was -- we asked them about their relationship with Cambridge Analytica.
We asked what they do to keep user data safe, and also what they do to make sure they can effectively recover data if it ends up in the hands of a
third party and then breach their own rules.
And it is data breach story we've been looking at. You know, we see unsatisfactory answers to all of those questions, and we certainly didn't
get clear answers to those questions when we posed them last month.
They said then they would give us their written evidence to support that, they still hasn't come through. So I think the time has come where someone
at the company like Mark Zuckerberg whose job it is to understand every detail of what Facebook does.
He actually now takes the public position and answers questions on this because our experience of dealing with Facebook in the past as you often
get, you know, very stiff answers, partial answers to questions, people saying they don't have the information.
What now is the time for the people who do have the information to speak.
ASHER: Yes, we haven't heard from Mark Zuckerberg at all just in terms of him coming out and speaking to the public as our reporter Lori Siegel was
But how do you think, just in terms of the solution going forward, how do think Facebook should actually be held responsible because this is
obviously beyond just being a massive crisis for the company just in terms of the data and mishandling.
I mean, this is huge. How should they be held responsible in the way that also sends messages, a strong message to other social media companies that,
you know, data mishandling is quite simply non-negotiable.
COLLINS: That's right, it is non-negotiable. And for Facebook users who are following this story, their concern will be, well, you know, well,
there might not be surprised, but just how much data Facebook holds on them.
But they might be even more concerned about whether Facebook can keep that data safe. So we have questions as part of our inquiry, part of our
parliamentary inquiry, we want the company to answer, we want Mark Zuckerberg to answer.
But I think there's also a question of what can we do to stiffen the laws in the U.K., because no matter how big a company is, they have to comply
with the laws of the country where they operate.
So we have been discussing changing the powers of the U.K. information commissioner, to give her the power, not to request data as part of
investigations, but to go in and get it, if it's not forthcoming.
The moment there's a new bill before parliament which would give the information commissioner the power to have a -- but deliver heavy fines.
But we think they should go beyond that, and they should have the power to get the data.
That will be our best way of knowing that the big tech companies are not just behaving in an ethical way, but they're abiding by the laws in our
country to make sure they're keeping people's data safe.
ASHER: A lot of people would find that idea of, you know, the government in the U.K. being able to get data from Facebook. A lot of people will
find that overly restrictive. Is it not somewhat of a concern of yours as you work to sort of figure out a potential solution to this.
COLLINS: Well, we should look at ways in other industries like tele -- you know, telecoms and in broadcasting. They have companies and it handles
huge amounts of personal data, there are data protection laws to make sure that they do that probably.
But we have a regulator offcom which has oversight of those companies to make sure they're complying with the law. So these data protection issues
are one -- are issues that have been resolved in many other industries, but the tech industry, it doesn't get applied.
And I think we have to say now that the tech is innovative, but it's also established. It's the dominant force in many of the markets where it
operates. And it needs to be -- we need to have proper oversight of what they're doing.
Otherwise, we are in a position where we can pass all the data protection laws we like, but we're entirely dependent on the tech companies enforcing
them properly and they got no means of checking. So I think it's a reserve power, and not exercise by politicians but by an independent government
The ability to go in and get important data when it's part of an inquiry. I think it'll be an important reform. I think that will be our best way of
ensuring that the companies comply with the law.
ASHER: OK, but beyond, you know, a controversial law like that for example, what will be the best way at this point for Facebook to gain or
regain the trust of your committee?
COLLINS: Well, I think they need to explain what -- how they keep using data safe. Why they didn't investigate more rigorously the data breach
involving Cambridge Analytica, why they didn't act, you know, quicker to ensure that, that data have been destroyed.
And also what can they do to ensure the use of data that is gathered from Facebook peep through people's interaction with apps and games and surveys
created by other people.
[17:40:00] What do they do to make sure that data is safe too? Because of those -- it's not at all clear how about works at the moment. And we'll be
holding a further hearing of a committee tomorrow afternoon in London where we will be talking to a former policy officer at Facebook who was
responsible for overseeing in which their data policy works and the way data privacy rules work.
To understand more about this, it will be very interesting to hear what they have to say. But I think this is an issue of increasing concern for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: MP Damian Green there. OK, so here's a piece of advice for you from tech experts, not from myself. The tech experts are basically saying
that now might be a good time to check what data you are sharing with third party apps on Facebook.
To find out, we're going to give instructions here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, and to find out, all you have to do is log on to Facebook and select
settings -- recognize that face, that was our friend Stelter.
Then navigate to the menu bar on the left and then click on apps, you will see a list of third party apps, list of third party apps that you can get
access some of your data to stop sharing all data with a specific app, click on the X, this will remove the app completely from your Facebook
Or click on an app to find out what exactly you are sharing in terms of data and make adjustments. Now Facebook is not the only advertising
support network that sells some of your info to third parties.
Here's just a few: Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Amazon, Twitter and Yelp all do it too. Brian Stelter, there's so much to discuss. Saw your lovely
picture by the way on the screen there --
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I don't know what I'm doing on Facebook. You know, I think all the fun from Facebook 10 or 15 years
ago, and now we're finally re-evaluating our own relationship with this growing social network.
I haven't done that, that privacy check-up in years. But what you just showed makes me really want to log on and see how much I really I am
ASHER: Yes, because one of the things that I was asking you earlier is really, why is it that we feel so comfortable trusting these social media
companies, these tech companies with so much personal information.
STELTER: Because we do get a lot of benefits out of Facebook and Google and other sites. Let's be honest. You know, I think there's a long
overdue reckoning with some of the down sides to social media, but there are a lot of upside as well.
Whether it's baby pictures, reuniting with old friends, keeping in touch with family, we do benefit from these sites. But because they are free, it
means that we are the part.
And I think that's what too many users are belatedly starting to realize. Now because it's free, advertisers are trying to reach us through this free
site. We are really the ones being sold to advertisers through our data.
ASHER: This Facebook, I guess and Twitter do more to bring us together or more to tear us apart?
STELTER: It certainly feels when you're in the eco -- the eco-chamber of Facebook and Twitter, we are looking at the toxic comments they pile up on
stories feels like these sites do more to divide us.
But I try to be an optimist here. We don't hear every day about the weddings and marriage proposals, all of the reunions, it happens, thanks to
these social networking sites. However, there are ways to have all the good that come from social networks without so much of the toxicity,
without so much of the misuse of data.
And that's when I'm starting to hear politicians say, you know, you were just talking to folks in the U.K., the politicians here in the U.S.,
lawmakers in the U.S., both on the Democratic and Republican sites have been saying we need to figure out a way to preserve the good from Facebook,
without all this one like we're abused by the site.
ASHER: I know, but one of the things that the British lawmaker -- I was just speaking to Damian Green, did touch on earlier with this idea that,
you know, maybe -- Damian Collins, my producer just corrected me, thank you so much, Tom.
He was talking about, you know, one of the main possible solutions --
STELTER: Yes --
ASHER: A possible solution --
STELTER: Yes --
ASHER: Would be for Facebook or the government rather to have access to more of Facebook's data. But the U.K. government has access to more of
Facebook's data. I particularly find that price scary.
STELTER: Yes, maybe the solution not to give away for more aware, yes. Yes, Zuckerberg, Facebook talked years ago about privacy being dead. That
on the internet, that's the trade off you make, that these big companies and maybe big governments are going to have access to more of your personal
But we are seeing a slow, but steady, resistance to that idea building. Out of it gets lawmakers, different organizations that are forming to try
and say, hold on a second, we need to talk about the trade-offs we're making when we log on to these sites.
And it shouldn't be entirely a one-way thing, we're giving all of our data away when we log on.
ASHER: Is this story over the past few days big enough for ordinary people to really re-evaluate their relationship with Facebook and their privacy
settings, and how much time they spend on Facebook and what information they give up.
STELTER: I think people are giving it a second look, but we all see people deleting their Facebook accounts or Instagram for that matter. You know,
for the top five apps on a lot of people's phones all around the world, Facebook apps, Messenger and Instagram, not just the main Facebook.
This company has embedded itself into most internet users daily lives. And I don't see that changing. But if --
[17:45:00] ASHER: But the level of trust --
STELTER: But yes, and if you use Facebook, that's often, if you're not, sure you trust it. That does do damage to the company's bottom line. So
it is in Facebook's best interest to address these problems.
ASHER: All right, Brian Stelter, Brian, thank you so much, I appreciate that. OK, so it's been described as a state of absolute panic right now in
Texas. A fifth package have exploded, this time at a FedEx sorting facility, that story is next.
ASHER: Welcome back everybody. So FedEx's profit for the third quarter beat expectations on Wall Street. The logistics company says it benefitted
from increased volumes at FedEx ground and freight, FedEx net profit got a billion and a half dollar boost, thanks to the new U.S. corporate tax law.
Now entirely separate, we have another story entirely separate from the company's earnings. A package exploded at a FedEx sorting center near San
Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday morning. That's after by the way four explosions, two of them deadly which have rattled the city of Austin,
Texas, over the past three weeks.
Cnn national correspondent Nick Walsh is in Schertz, Texas, near the FedEx facility. So Nick, based on all the explosions, what can authorities at
this point, even though it's early days piece together about the suspect?
NICK WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the main thing that they are trying to figure out. And frankly, I am not sure that
they know much. They have appealed to that suspect, they have asked him or her to contact them because they do not know what the motive is here.
Now initially, the first attacks, March 2nd, March 12th, they were targeting two African-American men who were killed and a Latina woman who
was injured. At that point, the police were saying to us, listen, this may be a hate crime.
Sunday night, there was a tripwire that was attached to an explosion device that injured two young white men in a different part of town. And now, we
have these two packages apparently sent through FedEx, one that detonated at this FedEx sorting facility behind me.
Those appear to be indiscriminate attacks. So at this point, they are still trying to figure out what the motive is behind this, and also
obviously, trying to find that bomber through forensics from the materials that he has left behind and from the sites of those detonations, those
deadly detonations up in Austin.
WALSH (voice-over): A little after midnight, another alarming escalation. A package exploded on the conveyer belt here at this FedEx sorting facility
60 miles southwest of Austin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One employee that was standing near the explosion later complained of ringing in the ears. She was treated and released.
WALSH: ATF, FBI and local law enforcement swarm the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's what we're working on right now, we're trying to understand what actually happened, we're trying to surf through
the evidence and let the evidence take us to where we need to go.
WALSH: The FBI says law enforcement is now looking at two packages from Tuesday.
[17:50:00] The one that exploded in Schertz and the second suspicious package found early this morning at another FedEx facility near the Austin
Federal Express says the company turned over to law enforcement, extensive evidence related to these packages and the individual that shipped them,
collected from our advanced technology security systems.
The FBI now telling Cnn they suspect these devices are linked to their investigation into the 18-day bombing spree in the Texas capital that has
left two men dead, killed by packages left on their porches, an elderly woman badly injured by a similar device.
And two young men injured by device triggered by a tripwire across a sidewalk in a quiet neighborhood Sunday night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before we had to look for a package, now you have to look for everywhere. I mean, it's harder to seal why your identity of the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you are not expecting a package, if it's something that doesn't have an official label on it, or really just not -- just the
package itself, if there's anything out of the ordinary, we are asking the community to please call 911.
WALSH: This afternoon, Sarah Sanders tweeting from the White House: "there's no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time." And the president
making his first comments on the situation.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is obviously a very sick individual or maybe individuals. These are sick people and we will
get to the bottom of it.
WALSH: Authorities have appealed to the bomber to contact them, the individual has not a motive remains unclear.
(on camera): And investigators are now appealing to an increasingly frightened public for help. The reward for information leading to an
arrest say now stands at $115,000.
ASHER: Right, Nick Walsh, thank you so much, appreciate that. Right, still to come here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, United Airlines pulled the
plugs on its animals -- flying animals in the cargo hold following a series of incidents in the air. We'll have details of this coming up after the
ASHER: All right, welcome back everybody. After a string of mishaps, some of which actually ended in tragedy, United Airlines is suspending pet
transportation in cargo hold. There were three incidents in a week including with this dog -- oh, adorable.
Which was actually loaded on the wrong flight and the plane was diverted to the dog's proper destination in Ohio as soon as the mistake was realized.
So joining us live now is Rene Marsh.
So Rene, I mean, just walk us through this. I mean, why completely suspend pet transportation in cargo. Why not just direct your resources to doing a
RENE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT REGULATION & TRANSPORTATION CORRESPONDENT: Right, well, I think that they feel like they got things so wrong with
these multiple situations that they need to take a pause and assess the entire situation to see what is going wrong. Now we're not talking about
just one incident, we're talking about multiple incidents here.
[17:55:00] So as you mentioned, Zain, United Airlines is suspending its program that allows passengers to transport their pets in the cargo hold.
The airlines says that they're going to stop accepting new reservations, but they will honor any reservations that were made up until today. And so
they -- what they're doing is they're reviewing their policy and how they handle these animals.
They said that this review should be done by May 1st, so once it is completed, then perhaps people will be allowed to carry their pets or
travel with their pets in the cargo hold of the plane.
But right now, they're doing that top-to-bottom review to make sure that the animals flying in the belly of the plane are safe. But in the meantime
though, if you do have a pet and you still want to carry it, it's a small pet, carry it on board in the cabin of the plane.
You can do that, it's just right now, their focus is for those animals traveling in the belly of the plane.
ASHER: And in the cargo. So just explain, why does it feel like United Airlines is having more of a problem with pet transportation compared to
MARSH: It feels that way because they are -- I mean, you know, you had --
ASHER: Go through my head then?
MARSH: No, it's not in your head because I mean, you had an incident two occasions where a pet was placed in the cargo hold and it was being flown
to the wrong destination, if you remember.
It was one dog that was sent to Japan, it was not supposed to be going to Japan, and then you had another similar case again. So clearly, there's a
breakdown in the system there, and the reason why United is taking such as drastic approach here is because it's been in the headlines and it's not
good, especially not good for PR, back to you.
ASHER: All right, Rene Marsh live for us there, thank you so much. And my friend, that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I'm Zain Asher, thank you so much for
watching, I'll see you again tomorrow.