Congress Threatens Facebook With Regulations

Having failed to secure the privacy of millions of consumers, Facebook could be facing new regulations, members of Congress warned on Tuesday.

“In the past, many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have been willing to defer to tech companies’ efforts to regulate themselves,” John Thune, chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, said in prepared opening remarks. “But this may be changing.”

Directly addressing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Thune said: “In many ways, you and the company you’ve created represent the American Dream. You have an obligation to ensure that dream doesn’t become a privacy nightmare for the scores of people who use Facebook.” 

Following his appearance before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday, Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.



Yet lawmakers don’t plan to stop there. They now plan to hold hearings devoted exclusively to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

On Tuesday, Facebook’s besieged CEO made prepared remarks that had been released a day earlier. Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook “didn’t do enough to prevent [its] tools from being used for harm.”

Assuming the blame, Zuckerberg added: “It was my mistake, and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

Much of the testimony mirrored Zuckerberg’s comments in interviews and press calls since the Cambridge Analytica scandal first erupted.

Facebook recently conceded that the information of up to 87 million members may have been “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.

Within that population, the company estimated the information of nearly 71 million U.S. users may have been shared with the controversial analytics firm.

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