Dem senator: Americans need to be more aware of how Facebook uses their data

Dem senator: Americans need to be more aware of how Facebook uses their data
© Greg Nash

Delaware Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsGrassley: Kavanaugh classmate didn't contact Senate panel Democratic senator: Attacks on Saudi oil refineries 'may call for military action against Iran' Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year MORE (D) cautioned Americans to be more careful about which websites have access to their personal data in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Saturday.

Speaking on "The Hugh Hewitt Show," Coons told the conservative host that the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which it was revealed the data firm formerly associated with the Trump campaign had access to about 50 million Facebook users' personal data without their knowledge, should serve as a wake up call.

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"I think it’s important for average Americans to understand this isn’t just a business model for Facebook," Coons said. 

"It’s something that has consequences for you, your family, your children in particular, because things that are posted on the internet are not just happy pictures of dogs and cats and birthdays. They’re information about your interests, your tastes, your political leanings, your friendships and your affiliations. And they don’t go away."

"It’s something I think the average American should be paying more attention to, and we in Congress who are obligated to represent the concerns of average Americans should be taking up and pressing forward," he added.

Facebook has lost millions in market value after it was revealed that the site knew in 2016 that Cambridge Analytica was scooping up data on millions of Americans without their consent, but seemingly did nothing to stop it or alert users who were affected.

Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism MORE, Facebook's founder and CEO, has agreed to testify before Congress about the issue.

"[T]here’s been more and more evidence put forth about ways in which Facebook may well be exploiting our positive views of its capacities, and instead using its business model, which involves hoovering up huge quantities of personally identifying data and selling it to other entities. This now raises, I think, more concerns for Americans," Coons said Saturday.

"That’s why the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis has asked for Zuckerberg, the founder and leader of Facebook, to come and testify April 10 when we’re back in session."