House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus Wants More on Facebook Data Leak

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If Facebook can remember these five facts about user privacy, its headaches may begin to fade.

Congress is asking questions of Facebook.


After Monday's news that the most popular Facebook applications are sending user-identifying information to third parties, The Wall Street Journal reports Reps. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Joe Burton, R-Texas, asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for details.


They want to know how many users are affected by the data leak, how long the company has known about it and what is being done to correct the problem. The congressmen, who co-chair the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus, gave Zuckerberg until Oct. 27 to respond.


A Facebook spokesperson said the company looks forward to working with the congressmen to clear up the confusion, and in a blog post, Mike Vernal said Facebook is "committed to ensuring that even the inadvertent passing of UIDs is prevented and all applications are in compliance with our policy." What that means, exactly, and how it will be carried out remains to be seen at this point.


The fact that it's not clear what Facebook will do is precisely what bothers privacy advocates. Chris Conley, a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, called on the company to end its "secret policy enforcement" and instead give users control of their information.