(CNN) – Facebook's privacy settings have turned into a political talking point in the California Democratic attorney general primary race. After candidate Kamala Harris released two advertisements leading up to Tuesday's primary that attacked Facebook and her opponent Chris Kelly, Facebook's former chief privacy officer, Kelly's campaign says the issue is simply a "distraction."
The Kelly campaign is calling Harris' criticism unfair. "She is criticizing Chris for something that has happened long after he left the company," Kelly spokeswoman Robin Swanson told CNN. "This is a distraction. She is attempting to use this as a distraction from the very serious problems she has with the San Francisco crime lab and a judge saying she is responsible for it."
But Harris campaign manager Brian Brokaw told CNN there is a "big difference" between the crime lab scandal, which has led to the hundreds of criminal cases being dismissed under Harris' watch, and the questions about Kelly and the Facebook. "Harris is a career prosecutor of a major city. Problems are inevitable and she has taken leadership and worked with the new police chief and proposed that it never happened again. Rather than ignoring the privacy scandals he is responsible for, has denied any responsibility."
According to Kelly's own Facebook page, he was at the social media company from September 2005 to March 2010. Much of Facebook's privacy issues started when the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint on May 5, 2010.
Kelly has made an issue of Facebook's privacy settings numerous times throughout the primary campaign, most recently in a high profile e-mail to MoveOn.org members.
"I remain troubled by the news that Facebook still plans to offer only an opt-out to 'instant personalization'-meaning that users' information will be shared with third parties without clear consent," Kelly wrote.
Facebook does not comment directly on Kelly, but has responded to the overall concern about its users' privacy by providing a simpler set of privacy controls.