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The company said this month it has begun testing ways to improve digital political ads with a small group of advertisers, and will roll out the best ideas this spring. Zuckerberg's success is a win for anyone primarily concerned with the company's market value.

Facebook has emphatically insisted that the incident was not, as many have called it, a data breach, because "people knowingly provided their information [to Kogan's app], no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked". It's an arrangement to which Facebook's users agree and can sidestep, technically, but it is hardly informed consent or a real option to avoid.

Many basic questions were repeated by multiple lawmakers over the two days of testimony. The first was with Senator Roy Blunt, the Republican from Missouri.

That's the take from several leading digital political advertisers - including one Democrat and the other two Republican - who privately say they've already been finding and exploiting loopholes in Facebook's new privacy rules as they gear up for the United States midterm elections.

Nevertheless, she also said that "working with Facebook has certainly got better" in recent years. Facebook brags to advertisers that it can provide "cross device" targeting, as it is called.

"So those apps are way more risky than people think". Any violations of the 2011 agreement could subject Facebook to fines of $41,484 per violation per user per day. Companies can also match their information on what your purchase in stores - that box of cereal at the supermarket, for example - and marry it with Facebook account information. But Zuckerberg also revealed another fact that is sure to worry anyone who doesn't use Facebook.

Sarnecki suggests users to disable any apps on Facebook that they no longer use or trust by going to "Settings", and then "Apps and Websites".

Facebook gets some data on non-users from people on its network, such as when a user uploads email addresses of friends.

The current FTC investigation will look at whether Facebook engaged in "unfair acts" that cause "substantial injury" to consumers.

Ms Kaiser made the claims as she was questioned by SNP MP Brendan O'Hara
Ms Kaiser made the claims as she was questioned by SNP MP Brendan O’Hara

Concern about Facebook's respect for data privacy is widening to include the information it collects about non-users, after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the world's largest social network tracks people whether they have accounts or not.

Zuckerberg squirmed when pressed about a 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that was created to force Facebook to tighten its privacy controls. "They don't want ads that don't relate to them", she said.

What does this mean for users?

And some contend getting off Facebook will not solve the problem.

The majority of those whose information was shared with the data analytics firm - about 70 million - are in the US. Blumenthal, the Democrat from CT, asked to flip that around, and force Facebook to explicitly ask permission for whatever pieces of personal information it wanted to harvest and use, and explain why. And regardless, there is no way Zuckerberg can agree to this. It has pointed out practices of companies like YouTube and Google, apart from Facebook, that are potentially harmful to children.

Facebook could voluntarily change the rules of the game.

When Facebook was alerted in 2015 that 87 million profiles were collected by Cambridge Analytica, a data consulting firm, those users were not notified and the process of notifying these users is still underway.

Those changes could dramatically curtail Facebook's power and its revenue - and that's the point. This data trove gives Facebook unparalleled commercial power and, as is becoming increasingly clear, the ability to influence significant events, including national elections.

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