Senate Democrats push Facebook on privacy [Politico]
Facebook's planned policy to allow third-party app developers to request access to users’ personal contact information stored in their profile on the site has been met with criticism, which resulted in Facebook deciding to postpone implementing the new policy for the time being.
Now the newly formed privacy panel of the U.S. Senate is getting involved. Senators Al Franken (Minn), Chuck Schumer (NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn) are pressing Facebook on the policy.
The senators are requesting that Facebook reconsider the policy, at least as it applies to younger users who may not understand the consequences of not protecting their personal information. Further, the senators are demanding that Facebook provide detailed disclosure information to any users who could be affected. Their preference would be that these apps still be available to users even if they decline to provide the contact information, if at all possible.
Facebook has responded by saying that, while they appreciate the feedback and will use it to influence future decisions, they see great value in giving users the opportunity to share information about themselves. The company went on to say that any external app could not access personal information without the user granting permission through Facebook.
Still, Congress has its concerns, and even some House members have gotten involved in the issue. Rep. Joe Barton (Texas) and Rep. Ed Markey (Mass.) from the Bipartisan Privacy Committee have expressed similar concern to that of the Senate.
Facebook is still weighing their concerns so it remains to be seen if, when and how they will implement the policy.