Udall Questions Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg On Protecting American Elections & Consumer Privacy

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall presses Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today during a Joint Senate Commerce Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Screenshot/LADP 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answers questions today in Washington, D.C. Screenshot/LADP

Video of Udall’s questioning is available here.

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall pressed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to be a strong advocate for reforms to prevent election interference, like the Honest Ads Act, during a Joint Senate Commerce Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.”

Udall released the following statement after the hearing:

“New Mexicans who signed up for Facebook didn’t sign up to have their basic privacy violated or their personal information abused. The Cambridge Analytica incident is a disturbing example of how social media platforms like Facebook can be weaponized by malicious actors – not just to access private data, but to use that data to manipulate public opinion and to interfere in our elections. After years of apologies and excuses from Facebook and other internet giants, it’s clear we need to take action to defend our democracy.

“Incident after incident has shown that Facebook and other big internet companies need stronger data privacy regulations to ensure personal information isn’t misused. While Facebook has endorsed disclosure for online ads, that’s only a modest first step, and Mr. Zuckerberg and the company should back up their words with strong advocacy and action. Real and meaningful action against foreign actors like Russia who seek to disrupt our elections and data privacy protections must be implemented – because when foreign and unscrupulous actors get their hands on people’s personal information, they’re able to create powerful targeted propaganda to manipulate people in ways that hurt our democracy.

“In addition to updating our election laws for the social media age, Congress should take notice that the European Union has enacted a law that will greatly expand privacy protections, and I believe the American people should get similar protections. Nothing less than the integrity of our democracy is at stake.”

Scene from today’s hearing with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Washington, D.C. Screenshot/LADP

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