Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in hot water with Congress following new revelations about his company’s data-sharing practices, with some senators saying he may have misled Congress when he testified this year about protecting the privacy of users.
“Mr. Zuckerberg told us that this kind of nonsense would end and it didn’t,” Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) said Wednesday. “Now the first time, you can argue it’s a mistake, but the second time, it’s a choice.”
Squaring his comments with the facts is very hard,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
In his congressional testimony in April, Zuckerberg assured lawmakers that “we don’t sell data to anyone.” But The New York Times reported Tuesday night that Facebook has long had financially beneficial agreements with companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Netflix and Spotify that allowed it to gain access to people’s timelines, friend lists, private messages and other data — at times without the users’ knowledge or expressed consent.
Lawmakers didn’t say whether the CEO should face consequences. Instead, Democrats and Republicans talked up the need for privacy legislation to regulate how Facebook and other companies collect, store and share consumer data — even though the two parties have yet to coalesce around a single legislative proposal or set of principles.