Congress Has a Few Questions for Facebook
Maybe demanding is too strong a word, but the letter, which came from two members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, made it clear that they expected a full response by next week.
Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Joe Barton of Texas make reference to the recent Wall Street Journal article where it was stated that third-party Facebook apps were selling off user information. They follow this with 18 questions which include:
— Did you notify users of this series of breaches, including the specific nature of the information shared without their consent? If not, why not?
— To what extend has Facebook determined that data relating to minors 17 years of age and under were breached?
The gist of the long list of questions is to find out when Facebook knew about the breach, how many people were affected and how they’re going to prevent such an event in the future.
Many of the questions are designed to decide culpability and the specific question about minors makes this more than just your average privacy case.
A company spokesperson for Facebook has said that they’ll be happy to answer the questions and clear up any “confusion” caused by the Wall Street Journal article.
In the meantime, CBS News is reporting that Zynga, the company that runs Farmville, is being sued in federal court for violating a number of privacy acts. Now Facebook is going to have to make a big decision in regard to standing behind their most popular games maker or divorcing themselves from the situation in hopes of being seen as an innocent party.
What do you think? Are the lawsuits and letters from Congress just showy acts to gain public support or is this an important security issue that needs to be addressed by a higher power?