While most members of Congress this week are questioning Facebook Czar Mark Zuckerberg about security and privacy, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette sounded more interested in extorting a chunk of the social media giant’s billions into the U.S. Treasury.
First she grilled him on how much money the Facebook empire makes, then she threatened him with government regulations, and of course hefty fines. Because government rules don’t work unless they can take your money, too.
Demanding only yes or no answers, DeGette asked about an obscure lawsuit filed more than a decade ago, and how much money was paid out to Facebook users.
No money, because it was a weird class action case that couldn’t be paid out without bankrupting the company (Long legal explanation here), so Facebook coughed up more than $9 million to teach better security practices to future developers.
How was the user wronged in the case of Lane vs. Facebook? Lane bought an engagement ring for his girlfriend online and the purchase showed up on his Facebook page, spoiling the surprise.
Not the stuff of privacy invasion legend, and it makes DeGette look petty. And greedy.
Zuckerberg didn’t come off looking so good either when he couldn’t remember the case cost him $9 million.
We’re not going to make excuses for what sparked these congressional hearings — a Facebook employee sold information to a consulting company involved in the 2016 elections, even though the company says it never used the information for its clients.
It’s evident to even the most amateur of users that Facebook needs to clean up its privacy and security controls.
But it was just like a liberal Democrat to just gloss over the issue at hand and start screaming for federal government regulation of social media.
Then to top that off with corporate payouts so congressional Democrats can waste even more money on idiotic programs that do nothing but give them a talking point when reelection time rolls around.
It’s tricky enough that a commercial empire has access to so much of our personal information, the last thing we need is for the federal government to worm their way in there as well.