Warner: Congress should 'relook' at how to regulate Facebook

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Democrats leery of Sanders plan to cancel student loan debt Pressure builds to secure health care data MORE (D-Va.) said Sunday he thinks Congress should reassess how to regulate social media companies following reports that a data firm harvested data from millions of Facebook users without their permission.

"All of these social media platform companies have said they have no responsibility for any of the content. I think we have to relook at that,” Warner said on NBC’s  “Meet The Press.” 

“I think in many ways they’re media companies,” he continued. “I think we have to relook at the fact that if you move from one company to another maybe you should be able to move all your data.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Facebook has faced intense scrutiny since it revealed earlier this month that the British research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly took data from 50 million Facebook users without those users' consent.

Cambridge Analytica was later hired by the Trump campaign.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook offers to hand hate speech suspect data to French courts Take a scalpel, not an axe, to 'Big Tech' Bipartisan senators to introduce bill forcing online platforms to disclose value of user data MORE said last week that he’s open to having his company be regulated.

Warner on Sunday joined a growing chorus of senators who have said they'd like to see Zuckerberg testify before Congress. He said Zuckerberg and the heads of other social media platforms should work with lawmakers to create practical legislation that could protect social media users. 

“Congress is not always at best in terms of cutting-edge technology. [Social media executives] need to work with us so we can try to get it right,” Warner said. 

He added that industry executives have been "reluctant" to take responsibility for the ways in which their platforms can be manipulated.

“I don’t want to regulate these companies into oblivion but I do think people need to have the ability to know whether information they’re receiving is honest, truthful or at least originates in this country,” he said.