Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Congressmen Send Questions on Privacy to Zuckerberg

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is, once again, being forced to fend off pointed privacy questions from Washington politicians. In a letter sent this week to the 26-year old executive, two prominent members of the U.S. House of Representatives demanded answers about the company's latest privacy breach, which allowed third party applications to gather personally identifiable information. It's not clear, as CNET noted, that Facebook knew that some of these third-party companies, including extremely popular ones like FarmVille manufacturer Zynga, were allegedly selling data to advertisers and tracking companies in violation of Facebook's terms of use. That was reported by the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

Reps. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, directed their questions at Zuckerberg. They posed 18 questions, including: What guidelines does Facebook have in place for third party applications to protect its users from advertent or inadvertent privacy breaches? And: Please identify the officials within Facebook who are responsible or ensuring that third party applications satisfy Facebook's terms and conditions.


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