When Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress earlier this month, he left many questions in his wake. More than 20 times, he responded to questions from Congress by saying he did not have the information at hand, but that his team would follow up with more information after the hearing closed.
But 13 days after the hearings, House Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee still say they have not heard anything from Facebook.
"Two weeks have passed since our hearing and we still have to receive answers to the questions that Mr. Zuckerberg could not answer that day," said Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). "In addition, the staff of our Committee met with the Facebook staff two weeks before the hearing, and there are still many unanswered questions from that meeting." Facebook did not want to comment.
A formal deadline for Facebook responses has not yet been established by the committee and the window is still open for representatives to add new questions. As a result, it is not at all surprising that Facebook has not yet responded. Still, Pallone said the lack of more information was hampering Congress efforts to develop new privacy regulations. "It simply should not take so long to answer the questions of this Committee on critical privacy and data security issues," said Pallone. "This information is fundamental since the Committee seeks to develop a comprehensive privacy and data security legislation that would include any company that collects and uses consumer data."
Today, the committee sent a new list of questions to Facebook in an effort to limit the information that was not available during the hearings. There are 113 separate questions on the list, many of which include multiple secondary questions, dealing primarily with information collected and retained by Facebook that users do not explicitly share. That information, which includes hidden profiles and broader ad tracking, was largely untouched during Zuckerberg's testimony.
Congress is already considering multiple bills that will impose regulatory restrictions on Facebook, including the Honest Ads Act, which would place stronger disclosure requirements on online political notices, and the CONSENT Act, which would require explicit consent from acceptance for data collection. Earlier this week, the senators introduced a new bill called Protection of privacy and consumer rights of social media, which would grant users of EE. UU The right to see all the data that a specific site keeps about them, and to eliminate some or all of them upon request.