Four senators sent Facebook a letter of «concern» over its privacy practices—and warned the social network that federal regulators would likely investigate the company. Congratulations, Facebook. It often takes decades to achieve this level of government scrutiny.
Microsoft was founded in 1975; it took nearly two decades before the Justice Department went after the software company on antitrust grounds. Started the same year, Apple Inc. avoided antitrust issues until last year. But Facebook’s repeated and brazen rollbacks of users privacy have apparently touched a nerve; Democratic senators Charles Schumer, Michael Bennett, Al Franken and Mark Begich sent the six-year-old startup a letter expressing concern over making data like likes, interests, hometown, education and current city public and allowing third-parties to store Facebook data indefinitely.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to have been outed as not caring one whit about your privacy — a jarring admission, considering how much of our personal data Facebook owns, not to mention its plans to become the web’s central repository for our preferences and predilections.
Also interesting is how this came about: Not in a proper article, but in a tweet by Nick Bilton, lead technology blogger for the The New York Times‘ Bits Blog, based on a conversation he says was “off the record” and which he may have confused with “not for attribution.”