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Thune, Nelson Want Answers From Facebook - Multichannel

Thune, Nelson Want Answers From Facebook

Senators cite report of data sharing with device manufacturers
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Facebook is facing a new round of bipartisan pressure from Washington in the wake of a New York Times story reporting that the social media company shared user info with device manufacturers.

Related: NYT: Facebook Shared Data With Device Makers

Facebook has said the data sharing was tightly controlled, designed to allow developers to create a Facebook-like experience on a variety of mobile devices. The New York Times reported, however, that some users, or friends of users, were unaware their information was being shared, or thought it was not being shared.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) gave the company a June 18 deadline to answer questions related to the NYT article as well as Zuckerberg's previous congressional testimony. They said he has yet to respond to written follow-up questions stemming from his testimony about Cambridge Analytica's improper use of Facebook users' data. 

Topics they want him to cover include "user control of personal information, efforts by Facebook to ensure business partner compliance with privacy policies, data storage and retention practices, disclosures to the Federal Trade Commission, and the identities of mobile device manufacturers who partnered with Facebook to receive special access."

Related: Public Knowledge Wants New FTC Investigation of Facebook

Facebook is under an FTC consent decree related to protection of user data.

Thune is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Nelson is ranking member.

Also pressing Facebook about the issue are Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Bipartisan pressure to regulate, or at least ramp up oversight of large edge providers like Facebook, Amazon and Google, has been building on the Hill.

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