Senate Judiciary Dem calls on Zuckerberg to testify before committee

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Saturday called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee following reports that a data firm took Facebook users’ private information for President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

“Facebook breach: This is a major breach that must be investigated. It’s clear these platforms can’t police themselves. I’ve called for more transparency & accountability for online political ads. They say ‘trust us.’ Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary,” Klobuchar, a member of the committee, wrote on Twitter.

Her comment came in response to the news that Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign, obtained the private information of more than 50 million people without their permission for campaign uses. {mosads}

It was also reported that senior members of Cambridge Analytica met with Russian business executives ahead of the 2016 campaign. 

Facebook suspended the group on Friday for not fully deleting all of the data it had obtained.

Klobuchar also said that Cambridge Analytica taking data on Facebook users is further justification for regulating technology companies via her Honest Ads Act, introduced in late 2017. The bill would hold internet platforms like Facebook to similar political ad disclosure standards as radio, TV and print outlets.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) who co-sponsored the legislation, also said that Facebook’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica are reason to pass the Honest Ads Act.

“Whether it’s allowing Russians to purchase political ads, or extensive micro-targeting based on ill-gotten user data, it’s clear that, left unregulated, this market will continue to be prone to deception and lacking in transparency,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “This is another strong indication of the need for Congress to quickly pass the Honest Ads Act to bring transparency and accountability to online political advertisements.”

Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch, testified in front of the Judiciary Committee last year alongside top lawyers from Google and Twitter about Russian manipulation on its platform. At the time, some lawmakers said that they would also like to see top executives from the firm appear before Congress.

The social media platform has already been under increased scrutiny after it was revealed that Russian actors spent $100,000 on political advertisements on the site during the presidential campaign.

Facebook has been cooperating with investigators. The information about the ads was handed to Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller for their investigations into Russian interference in the election. 

Tags Amy Klobuchar Donald Trump Mark Warner Mark Zuckerberg Robert Mueller

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