Senators want more transparency from Facebook.Image: AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCKBy Kerry Flynn2018-03-22 16:52:18 UTC
In the wake of Facebook’s massive data privacy scandal, Mark Zuckerberg told CNN Tuesday night that he might not be the best person to testify if it were to come to that.
But two U.S. Democratic Senators have called for Zuckerberg’ personal testimony in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Sen. Edward Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal also want the CEO to answer more questions on what exactly happened when Facebook let 50 million users’ data be sold without their direct consent.
“While we appreciate your recent engagement on this matter, a number of important questions remain unanswered,” the Senators wrote in a joint letter sent on Thursday. The letter arrived a day after Zuckerberg made a rare TV appearance and spoke with select media outlets about how his company would be proceeding.
The Senators aren’t the first lawmakers to call Zuckerberg’s action into question. Senator Ron Wyden sent a letter to Zuckerberg on Monday asking for more information on the company’s third-party data-sharing policies.
Here are the questions from the letter, which Sen. Markey’s spokesperson shared with Mashable:
What are Facebook’s policies, practices, and procedures for approving any applications that collected Facebook user data?
How has Facebook verified that the collected data is used solely for purposes provided by developers (including academic entities) and not improperly used or shared?
Between 2007 and 2014, how many applications that accessed “friends data” did Facebook host? To your knowledge, did other applications misuse or fail to safeguard this data?
What is the extent of Facebook’s right to audit external applications that collect user data?
How many times has Facebook exercised its right to audit applications?
Sen. Markey also requested a congressional hearing about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica “bombshell” in a statement shared earlier this week.
Zuckerberg stayed quiet on the issue more five days, prompting some backlash from lawmakers. But when he finally spoke out on Wednesday, he did introduce several big changes to the platform. Facebook is conducting an audit of every app and service that has access to large amounts of its data. It also will now further limit what developers can have access.
Here’s the full letter: