'Sure Looks Like Zuckerberg Lied to Congress': Ranking Democrat Hits Facebook Report

David Cicilline, the ranking member of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, took aim at Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Twitter Sunday following a New York Times report detailing the social network’s data sharing practices.

“Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have ‘complete control’ over who sees our data on Facebook,” he said. “This needs to be investigated and the people responsible need to be held accountable.”

The Times story reports Facebook holds “data-sharing partnerships” with more than 60 device makers. As a result, the social network allowed companies access to the data of user’s friends without their explicit consent, raising concerns about whether the social network breached a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission from 2011. Facebook responded to the report in a blog post titled “Why We Disagree with The New York Times.”

“Contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends’ information, like photos was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends,” the statement said. “We are not aware of any abuse by these companies.”

Zuckerberg appeared before congress in April following the revelation that Facebook had exposed data on up to 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, a research firm that worked with the Trump campaign.

“We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake, and I'm sorry,” he said before congress. “I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here."

"We're investigating every single app that had access to a large amount of information in the past. And if we find that someone improperly used data, we're going to ban them from Facebook and tell everyone affected,” he added.

This isn’t Cicilline’s first time addressing the social media giant. He introduced a bill in March titled “The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” aimed at limiting Facebook and other platforms’ influence in the news industry.

The act would create “a temporary safe harbor for news publishers to band together to negotiate with online platforms to protect Americans’ access to trustworthy sources of news online.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment. 

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