WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, yesterday, March 22 called on Facebook to answer questions about its role in and response to the troubling collection of personal data from tens of millions of Americans by the firm Cambridge Analytica.
In their letter, Senators Markey and Blumenthal specifically seek information regarding Facebook’s internal policies for approval and governance of apps authorized to collect personal information, the extent to which apps have accessed data about users and their friends, and Facebook’s approach to auditing applications that collect user data.
“While we appreciate your recent engagement on this matter, a number of important questions remain unanswered,” write Senators Markey and Blumenthal to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
A copy of the letter to Facebook can be found HERE.
Among the questions that the Senators ask Facebook to response to include:
- 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?
Earlier this week, Senator Markey called on the Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the Facebook Cambridge-Analytica situation.
Above is a press release from Sen. Ed Markey’s office