The series of hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday gave members of Congress an opportunity to question Facebook about multiple recent scandals that left user data completely open, as well as its policies around data privacy in general. But a large part of the discussion also revolved around how the government could work with and regulate massive social media platforms when it comes to data privacy.
“We need baseline protections that stretch from Internet service providers, to data brokers, to app developers and to anyone else who makes a living off our data,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, a Representative from N.J., during week’s hearing. “We need to figure out how to make sure these companies act responsibly, even before the press finds out.”
Zuckerberg himself said on Wednesday’s hearing that “the Internet is growing in importance around the world in people’s lives, and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation.”
The social media company has been in public scrutiny since March, when it was discovered that a third-party application had handed over the data of millions of platform users to Cambridge Analytica – a consulting group that has worked on several high-profile political campaigns, including that of President Donald Trump’s – since 2015.