GOP rep: Probably time for more regulation on Facebook

Rep. Chris StewartChris StewartOvernight Defense & National Security — Washington gathers for Colin Powell's funeral House Republican says as much as 40 percent of some intel agencies remain unvaccinated Two coaches charged with murder in basketball player's death after practice MORE (R-Utah) said on Thursday that it is time for Facebook to be subject to more regulation amid the controversy involving British research firm Cambridge Analytica. 

"Yeah, I actually think it probably is," Stewart said when asked by CNN's Chris Cuomo if he thought it was time for more regulation for Facebook. 


"These companies gather our private information and they monetize it. We also know that political campaigns gather that private information or buy that private information, and they use it to move voters," he continued. 

"The third thing we know is that our adversaries use that information to divide us. They use social media to make us fight with one another and also to move voters. And knowing that, I don't think that we can be terribly surprised that we see these types of things, but the companies have to be transparent, they have to be ethical, and it might be time for government to take more of an aggressive oversight rule," he said.

Facebook is facing backlash after it revealed that British research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested data from 50 million Facebook users without permission. 

The data firm was linked to the Trump campaign.

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledged on Wednesday that he was open to having the platform regulated. 

"Actually, I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” Zuckerberg told CNN on Wednesday. “I actually think the question is more ‘what is the right regulation?’ rather than ‘yes or no, should it be regulated?’”

“If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV, in print, you know, it's just not clear why there should be less on the internet,” he continued. 

Zuckerberg said earlier on Wednesday his company had “made mistakes” in its dealings with Cambridge Analytica. 

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Facebook told Politico that nonexecutive-level staff are set to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the controversy. 

The platform told The Hill that the staff will meet with staff from the House and Senate Intelligence committees, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, as well as the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

Stewart said Zuckerberg should be among the officials coming to Capitol Hill, saying "I don't know who would be better."

Updated at 10:08 a.m.