Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the House committee that grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, told VICE News it may be time for other tech CEOs to come before his committee to outline their own data privacy practices.
“This is not just a Facebook issue,” he said in an interview, noting that other internet companies scrape and sell access to consumers’ data just like Facebook.
Walden, an Oregon Republican, said he’d like to know from companies like Amazon or Google, “what are their protections, what are their user agreements? What should we know about their activities? What can they better regulate themselves, so we don’t have to over-regulate here?”
Walden chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Zuckerberg answered five hours worth of questions from members Thursday on everything ranging from its data sharing practices to its efforts to crack down on foreign election meddling. It was the Facebook CEO’s second round of questioning on the Hill, after he testified in front of a Senate panel on Tuesday — part of an apology tour on Capitol Hill meant to reassure lawmakers in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Walden — an Oregon Republican whose district is home to three Facebook data centers — has been cautious on enacting new regulations to prevent similar abuses in the past. After Zuckerberg’s testimony, Walden said he was still giving Facebook the benefit of the doubt when it came to implementing reforms to its data policies.
“They’ve got to show the consumer just us the consumer that they understand their problem, they’re going to fix it and we’re not going to see another apology tour in six months or two years from now,” he said.
If Facebook fails to do so, Walden added, “there are things in terms of how we can better control our own data I think if they don’t fix we can.”