Senators call for tech CEOs to appear before Judiciary Committee

Senators call for tech CEOs to appear before Judiciary Committee
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Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Facebook delays political ad transparency requirements in UK Midterms: The winners and losers MORE (D-Minn.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) on Monday called for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to question major technology companies in the wake of a report that a data firm harvested information from millions of Facebook users.

Klobuchar and Kennedy asked Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPavlich: Where is Brett Kavanaugh’s apology? Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Feinstein requests Senate hearings with Whitaker, Sessions MORE (R-Iowa) to call a hearing with CEOs from companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google. 

“Important questions also remain unanswered about the role of these technology companies in our democracy. Major social media platforms store an enormous amount of data and have a user base larger than all of the major broadcasting companies combined,” the senators wrote.


“The lack of oversight on how data is stored and how political advertisements are sold raises concerns about the integrity of American elections as well as privacy rights,” they added.

Representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google have testified before congressional committees in the last year regarding Russian election meddling, but Klobuchar and Kennedy noted that the CEOs of each company have yet to appear.

Klobuchar on Saturday called for Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Social media struggles with new forms of misinformation | US, Russia decline to join pledge on fighting cybercrimes | Trump hits Comcast after antitrust complaint | Zuckerberg pressed to testify before global panel Lawmakers from five countries pressure Zuckerberg to testify in front of global panel Ex-Facebook exec ousted from company sparked controversy with pro-Trump views: report MORE in particular to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee following a report 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. 

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform after reports it had not fully deleted data it obtained from Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan.

The professor was found to have harvested more than 50 million Facebook profiles from his app, which required a Facebook login, despite only 270,000 having given permission for their data to be harvested.