Congress calls out Facebook
February 4th, 2011
09:02 PM ET
12 years ago

Congress calls out Facebook

Washington (CNN)– Two co-chairs of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus have asked Mark Zuckerberg to reveal secrets about Facebook's ever-changing privacy policy in a letter sent this week.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, sent the bipartisan request Wednesday with a deadline: Zuckerberg has 15 business days to cough up the answers.

The congressmen's intrigue centers on Facebook's recent announcement - and postponement - of a plan to make the addresses and cell phone numbers of its users available to third-party websites and application developers (apps).

"Please explain why Facebook, while previously acknowledging in its letter to us that sharing a [Facebook User ID] could raise user concerns, subsequently considered sharing of a user's home address and mobile phone number - even more sensitive personal information than a UID - to be information that should be more easily accessible to third parties," they wrote in the letter.

They further take Zuckerberg to task writing, "Facebook initially announced the new feature in a blog post meant for developers. Does Facebook consider that prominent notice to users? If not, please describe how Facebook intended to notify users of this new feature."

The query includes 11 questions and four sub-questions that probe the Facebook founder on whether the social networking site has considered the risks to children and teenagers as a result of the new policy, why the policy is needed, and why it was subsequently delayed.

Markey and Barton sent a similar letter to Zuckerberg in October 2010 which sought answers on reported "privacy breaches." Zuckerberg responded two days after their requested nine-business-day deadline.

Filed under: Ed Markey • Facebook • Joe Barton
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. AGeek

    I'm sorry. What business is this of Congress? This is still America. There are no laws against doing this. If there are, ask the Justice Department to investigate. GET BACK TO WORK, CONGRESS!

    February 4, 2011 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  2. Mark Z.

    Congress, please send Mark Zuckerberg to gitmo

    February 5, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  3. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Not to mention you cannot delete a Facebook profile. Facebook keeps everything.

    February 5, 2011 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  4. Goeff

    You know, I have a facebook and almost 500 friends (all people I know or whom I've met, NO strangers)...I don't have my phone number, my address, my email etc listed on my profile, nor do I have any of those STUPID applications. Privacy is a simple thing, if you don't want it online, don't put it online, and don't be dumb by accepting every person who adds you or accepting every application that pops's called being responsible.

    February 5, 2011 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  5. Aaron

    It appears that Zuckerberg has not yet encountered someone from whom he can steal the privacy ideas at the moment to present them as his own.

    February 5, 2011 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  6. Liars

    I don't understand why anybody is using Facebook any more. Between stealing your info, locking your account and requiring you to submit a scan of a govt. issued ID, that ridiculous movie, and all the Goldman Sachs hype you think people would get out before something really terrible happened. Are they still collecting phone numbers? Get rid of your account and get back to reality until a new social network that's not run by a sociopath pops up.

    February 5, 2011 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  7. solomon

    People and Politicians have villainized Wikkileaks, yet facebook is far more dangerous and dishonest and devious.

    February 5, 2011 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  8. solomon

    .......On top of facebook's secretive invasion of privacy, Zuckerberg would sell his own Mother for an extra buck.

    February 5, 2011 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  9. Jennifer

    Facebook never ceases to amaze me with their sheer stupidity.

    February 5, 2011 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  10. Franky

    As long as people around the world have appetite for cyber trash, there will always be some smart ass to create mental junk food for them. As the physical junk food is available all around the world for people who have not noticed they have become fat ass trash cans. Physically and mentally

    February 5, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |