Washington – The co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy
Caucus have sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seeking detailed
information on the company’s recent announcement that it would share users’
addresses and mobile phone numbers with developers. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
and Joe Barton (R-Texas) pose 11 questions to Zuckerberg in their letter,
asking how Facebook developed and vetted the feature; what led the company to
suspend roll out after it had been announced; how the company is adjusting the
feature prior to re-enabling it; how consumers will be able to opt-out; and
whether consideration was given to risks in children and teenagers disclosing
their addresses and mobile phone numbers.
The letter also pointedly asks, "Why is
Facebook, after previously acknowledging in a letter to Reps. Markey and Barton
that sharing a Facebook User ID could raise user concerns, subsequently
considering sharing access to even more sensitive personal information such as
home addresses and phone numbers to third parties?"
to protect the personal information of its users to ensure that Facebook
doesn’t become Phonebook," Rep. Markey said in a statement.
computer — especially with sites like Facebook — is now a virtual front door
to your house allowing people access to your personal information. You deserve
to look through the peep hole and decide who you are letting in," Rep.
Zuckerberg and Facebook were given until Feb. 23 to respond
to the lawmakers’ queries.
(Rep. Markey statement)