In a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, committee chair John Conyers (pictured right) wrote, “We would appreciate a detailed explanation of the information about Facebook users that your company has provided to third parties without the knowledge of the account holders — particularly in circumstances in which the users did not expressly opt for this kind of information sharing.”
The letter goes on to request an explanation of prior policies as well as details on how Facebook’s recent round of changes have altered these policies.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has come up in a negative light in Washington. About one month ago, Sentaor Charles Schumer asked the FTC to investigate Facebook’s newer features built around the Open Graph API. The FTC has been reviewing Facebook’s privacy policies and those of other social networks, as well.
And just last week, Facebook’s D.C. office staged a special briefing for Congress staffers to explain the company’s response to the general privacy-issues-induced outcry from advocacy groups and users. Apparently, the explanation given wasn’t satisfactory.
Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, hasn’t stated outright that Facebook will face a full-on investigation from the Judiciary Committee; however, this initial letter is a telling signal of Washington’s growing interest in the social network.
Do you think the House Committee will — or should — investigate how Facebook treats user data with regard to third-party sites? Do you think Facebook’s recent changes will get the company off the hook where the U.S. government is concerned?
[img credit: RevHist]
[Re-post credit: Mashable]