Can data science save social media?

The unfettered internet is too often used for malicious purposes and is frequently woefully inaccurate. Social media — especially Facebook — has failed miserably at protecting user privacy and blocking miscreants from sowing discord.

That’s why CEO Mark Zuckerberg was just forced to testify about user privacy before both houses of Congress. And now governmental regulation of FaceBook and other social media appears to be a fait accompli.

At this key juncture, the crucial question is whether regulation — in concert with FaceBook’s promises to aggressively mitigate its weaknesses — correct the privacy abuses and continue to fulfill FaceBook’s goal of giving people the power to build transparent communities, bringing the world closer together?

The answer is maybe.

What has not been said is that FaceBook must embrace data science methodologies initially created in the bowels of the federal government to help protect its two billion users. Simultaneously, FaceBook must still enable advertisers — its sole source of revenue — to get the user data required to justify their expenditures.

Specifically, Facebook must promulgate and embrace what is known in high-level security circles as homomorphic encryption (HE), often considered the “Holy Grail” of cryptography, and data provenance (DP). HE would enable Facebook, for example, to generate aggregated reports about its user psychographic profiles so that advertisers could still accurately target groups of prospective customers without knowing their actual identities.

Meanwhile, data provenance – the process of tracing and recording true identities and the origins of data and its movement between data bases – could unearth the true identities of Russian perpetrators and other malefactors or at least identify unknown provenance, adding much needed transparency in cyberspace.

Both methodologies are extraordinarily complex. IBM and Microsoft, in addition to the National Security Agency, have been working on HE for years but the technology has suffered from significant performance challenges. Progress is being made, however. IBM, for example, has been granted a patent on a particular HE method – a strong hint it’s seeking a practical solution – and last month proudly announced that its rewritten HE encryption library now works up to 75 times faster. Maryland-based ENVEIL, a startup staffed by the former NSA HE team, has broken the performance barriers required to produce a commercially viable version of HE, benchmarking millions of times faster than IBM in tested use cases.

How Homomorphic Encryption Would Help FaceBook

HE is a technique used to operate on and draw useful conclusions from encrypted data without decrypting it, simultaneously protecting the source of the information. It is useful to FaceBook because its massive inventory of personally identifiable information is the foundation of the economics underlying its business model. The more comprehensive the datasets about individuals, the more precisely advertising can be targeted.

HE could keep Facebook information safe from hackers and inappropriate disclosure, but still extract the essence of what the data tells advertisers. It would convert encrypted data into strings of numbers, do math with these strings, and then decrypt the results to get the same answer it would if the data wasn’t encrypted at all.

A particularly promising sign for HE emerged last year, when Google revealed a new marketing measurement tool that relies on this technology to allow advertisers to see whether their online ads result in in-store purchases.

Unearthing this information requires analyzing datasets belonging to separate organizations, notwithstanding the fact that these organizations pledge to protect the privacy and personal information of the data subjects. HE skirts this by generating aggregated, non-specific reports about the comparisons between these datasets.

In pilot tests, HE enabled Google to successfully analyze encrypted data about who clicked on an advertisement in combination with another encrypted multi-company dataset that recorded credit card purchase records. With this data in hand, Google was able to provide reports to advertisers summarizing the relationship between the two databases to conclude, for example, that five percent of the people who clicked  on an ad wound up purchasing in a store.

Data Provenance

Data provenance has a markedly different core principle. It’s based on the fact that digital information is atomized into 1’s and 0’s with no intrinsic truth. The dual digits exist only to disseminate information, whether accurate or widely fabricated. A well-crafted lie can easily be indistinguishable from the truth and distributed across the internet. What counts is the source of these 1’s and 0’s. In short, is it legitimate?  What is the history of the 1’ and 0’s?

The art market, as an example, deploys DP to combat fakes and forgeries of the world’s greatest paintings, drawing and sculptures. It uses DP techniques to create a verifiable, chain-of-custody for each piece of the artwork, preserving the integrity of the market.

Much the same thing can be done in the online world. For example, a FaceBook post referencing a formal statement by a politician, with an accompanying photo, would  have provenance records directly linking the post to the politician’s press release and even the specifics of the photographer’s camera. The goal – again – is ensuring that data content is legitimate.

Companies such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, British-based Tesco and Swedish-based H&M, an international clothing retailer, are using or experimenting with new technologies to provide provenance data to the marketplace.

Let’s hope that Facebook and its social media brethren begin studying HE and DP thoroughly and implement it as soon as feasible. Other strong measures — such as the upcoming implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which will use a big stick to secure personally identifiable information – essentially should be cloned in the U.S. What is best, however, are multiple avenues to enhance user privacy and security, while hopefully preventing breaches in the first place. Nothing less than the long-term viability of social media giants is at stake.

Here are Mark Zuckerberg’s notes from today’s hearing

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg pulled off a smooth appearance in a joint Senate hearing today, dodging most questions while maintaining an adequately patient vibe through five hours of varied but mostly tame questioning.

The chief executive avoided admitting that Facebook is a publisher or a monopoly, refused to commit to any meaningful legislation and respectfully addressed lawmakers over a nearly five hour marathon testimony.

Still, he did make one rookie mistake.

Zuckerberg left his hearing notes open in front of his seat for long enough for AP Photographer Andrew Harnik to snap a high resolution shot with talking points in plain view. Twitter users and journalists scanning photos from the courtroom as they hit the wire were quick to notice, the irony of the minor privacy invasion not lost on them.

Most of the notes cover points that we heard Zuckerberg repeat during the course of the hearing, but there are a few more candid statements that didn’t come up. The notes also provide a glimpse into what lines of questioning Facebook expected. For one, they expected Congress might demand his resignation.

Below we’ve listed the subheadings on his notes in bold with any interesting bullet points pulled out. Our partial transcript retains the original emphasis from the document. Though we’ve italicized what was underlined, bold lettering is retained.

Cambridge Analytica

Compensation

Reverse lookup (scraping)

Accountability

  • Do you ever fire anyone? Yes; hold people accountable all the time; not going into specifics.
  • Resign? Founded Facebook. My decisions. I made mistakes. Big challenge, but we’ve solved problems before, going to solve this one. Already taking action.
  • No accountability for MZ? Accountable to you, to employees, to people who use FB.

Data Safety

  • I use FB every day, so does my family, invest a lot in security.

Business Model (ads)

  • Want FB to be a service that everyone can use, has to be free, can only do that with ads.
  • Let’s be clear. Facebook doesn’t sell data. You own your information. We give you controls.

???/ wellbeing

  • Time spent fell 5% Q4, pivot to MSI.

Defend Facebook

  • [If attacked: Respectfully, I reject that. Not who we are.]

Tim Cook on biz model

  • At FB, we try hard to charge you less. In fact, we’re free.
  • On data, we’re similar. When you install an app on your iPhone, you give it access to some information, just like when you login with FB.
  • Lots of stories about apps misusing Apple data, never seen Apple notifying people.
  • Important you hold everyone to the same standard.

Disturbing content

Election integrity (Russia)

Diversity

  • Silicon Valley has a problem, and Facebook is part of that problem.
  • Personally care about making progress; long way to go [3% African American, 5% Hispanics]

Competition

  • Consumer choice: consumers have lots of choices over how they spend their time.
  • Small part of ad market: advertisers have choices too – $650 billion market, we have 6%
  • Break up FB? US tech companies key asset for America; break up strengthens Chinese companies.

GDPR (Don’t say we already do what GDPR requires)

Amazon isn’t to blame the Postal Service’s woes, but it will need to innovate to survive

In the past week, the 45th president has Twit-tacked Amazon three times and, potentially, cost their shareholders over $40 billion in market cap or just more than one Greek economy.

At the heart of our current President’s criticism is a claim that Amazon is making a mint and leaving a *failing* U.S. Postal Service holding the bag. It’s not a new critique from the Twitterer-in-Chief, but it is one that’s worth unpacking given the crippling effect technologies have had on the USPS — where email is even more reliable than a carrier undeterred by “snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night.

Is it failing?

“Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer?” This infantile question was posed by President Trump on Twitter in December 2017. While it’s not clear what exactly prompted Trump’s criticism,  the tweet did spark a wave of debate as to whether the Postal Service is indeed failing and, if so, whether Amazon is to blame.

First of all, it’s true that the Postal Service is “losing billions of dollars a year” – $2.7 billion in 2017, to be more precise. In fact, the Postal Service has been losing money for over a decade. And the USPS does have a curious relationship with Amazon. While competitors UPS and FedEx charge the e-commerce giant $7-$8 per package, USPS only charges for $2 for the service. However, as with most stories, that of USPS is more complicated.

USPS and Amazon

The USPS-Amazon relationship may be seen as “dumb” by the 45th president, but to many it’s a piece of shrewd business on the part of the Postal Service. As of 2017, Amazon was USPS’s biggest customer, and an intelligent way for the independent agency – that traditionally made its money by having a monopoly on first class mail – to get a piece of the increasingly profitable package delivery pie. It’s not the first time that the Postal Service has tried to muscle its way in on the growing package delivery industry. Back in 2010, the entertainment company Netflix accounted for $600 million from its DVD subscription service. Of course, the Netflix DVD delivery service is fast fading and being replaced by on-demand streaming; and Amazon look to be preparing their own delivery service. It seems that the USPS may have to prepare itself to be jolted by another wave of disruption.

One-Two Punch of Email and a Financial Crisis

The Postal Service’s first major battle against the age of innovation came with the rise of email, and it didn’t take the beating that you might expect. Despite the fact that in 2002 the majority of Americans used email, the Postal Service still managed to make profit between 2003 and 2006. During this time, people were still writing letters, sending greetings cards and, perhaps most importantly, bills were still sent by post.

It wasn’t until the 2007 global financial crisis that the Postal Service took a hit that, arguably, it still hasn’t recovered from. After thousands of businesses suffered from the crisis, they started to cut back on expenses wherever possible, and one such place was mail. Back in 2000, nearly two-thirds of bills were delivered by USPS, and the total revenue from bill payments in this year was estimated at between $15 and $18 billion. Between 2006 and 2010, USPS volume fell by 42 billions pieces, with 15 billion of those being caused by electronic billing.

And if that weren’t enough, the rise of social media further confounded USPS’s problems. Between 2010 and 2014, postcard volume fell by 430 million. As more and more people began logging into Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to send virtual Christmas cards and birthday wishes, fewer people were sending mail, and therefore fewer profits for the agency that had had its fair share of knocks in the 21st century.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/André-Pierre du Plessis

Innovating within a Risk-Averse Government

To suggest that those in charge at the Postal Service have been idly watching as new technologies disrupt and threaten the agency would be unfair.

It is an organization that looks to engage with the latest technology. For instance, in 2014, it released a white paper on the impact that 3D printing could have on the industry and how the Postal Service could benefit; and again in 2015 it released another on the Internet of Things. Both papers were clearly commissioned with a degree of prescience, being published before either technology had begun to pervade the public consciousness.

Unfortunately, though, forward-thinking initiatives such as these have been blocked before they can enter the action stage. USPS’s status as a quasi government entity may have its benefits, such as a monopoly on all first class post, but in return Congress has a say in how the agency is run. It can outline the products and services provided by the Postal Service, and set its prices. However, unlike other Federal agencies, USPS receives no funding, and hasn’t done since 1982.

In 2016, the Postal Service wanted to make the most of its relationship with Netflix and other video rental business, but the proposal was blocked by the Postal Regulatory Commission. In 2013, USPS attempted to end Saturday letter delivery – a change that would have saved $2 billion a year. The proposal was blocked by Congress. And in 2016, it was ordered to lower the cost of postage stamps from 49 cents to 47 cents, resulting in a $2 billion annual cost.

At the heart of the troubled USPS-Congress relationship lies the problem. A big existential question mark hangs over the Postal Service’s head: what exactly is it? With 2.7 million people working for it, it’s the biggest employer in the US (Walmart, by comparison had 2.2 million as of 2017). It also delivers to remote locations that private companies like FedEx and UPS won’t touch. For these reasons, it exists out of necessity. There are also those who want to see the Postal Service fully privatized or even abolished, believing it to be an outdated relic of nostalgia.

Understandably, those within the Postal Service are equally unsure as to what they should be. On one side, they’re being encouraged to innovate and drive up profits, and on the other they’re being blocked making the changes necessary.

As it stands, the USPS motto “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” still holds true. Their resilience through massive shifts in consumer behavior is nothing short of remarkable.

They are at the service of the American people, and so it’s up to them to decide what they want it to be. Although it may be true to say the Post Office is losing money thanks to Congress and cutting Amazon a more-than-fair deal, its importance is far more nuanced and complex than he gives it credit. And without the Postal Service, it would be more than just Amazon that would be losing out.

As the world moves to more and more virtual communication channels it will be fascinating to see USPS evolve.

Senator warns Facebook better shape up or get ‘broken up’

In the run-up to Mark Zuckerberg’s first appearance before Congress, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden issued a warning to the company about what it can expect from lawmakers if it doesn’t radically alter course.

“Mr. Zuckerberg is going to have a couple of very unpleasant days before Congress next week and that’s the place to start,” Wyden said at the TechFestNW conference in his home state of Oregon on Friday.

“There are going to be people who are going to say Facebook ought to be broken up. There have been a number of proposals and ideas for doing it and I think unless [Zuckerberg] finds a way to honor the promise he made several years ago, he’s gonna have a law on his hands.”

The Senator added that he would support such a law.

For Wyden, concealing the truth about data sharing in the fine print is a deceptive practice that’s gone on too long.

“I think we got to establish a principle once and for all that you own your data, period,” Wyden said.

“What does that mean in the real world? It’s not enough for a company to bury some technical lingo in their [terms of service]… It’s not enough to have some convoluted process for opting out.”

While that might have been wishful thinking two weeks ago, the Oregon lawmaker believes that Facebook’s most recent scandal has creating the perfect opportunity for privacy reform.

“If there is a grassroots uprising about the issue of who owns user data, we can get it passed,” Wyden said, citing other pieces of bipartisan legislation that once seemed like a long-shot.

Wyden, one of the loudest digital privacy champions in Congress, wants the public to use Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica debacle to demand that social networks obtain “explicit consent” from users before sharing their personal data with anyone — including advertisers.

“It’s real basic. You have to give the okay for them to do anything with your data,” Wyden said.

Zuckerberg is slated to appear before the Senate’s commerce and judiciary committees on Tuesday and the House energy and commerce committee the following day.

To date, Facebook has always successfully squirmed out of seeing its chief executive with his right hand raised. This time, as pressure mounted from legislators, investors, advertisers and the public alike, the company conceded. The set of hearings is widely expected to be a milestone event in big tech’s reluctant shuffle toward getting its wings clipped in Congress.

Unfortunately for Facebook, its corporate willful ignorance around protecting user data echoes other recent privacy catastrophes — a context that won’t do it any favors.

“The reason that Facebook is in hot water is essentially the same reason that Equifax is in hot water,” Wyden said. “These companies have not gotten their heads around the idea that the data they collect is more than just their property.”

As the CLOUD Act sneaks into the omnibus, big tech butts heads with privacy advocates

As the House advances a 2,232-page spending bill meant to avert a government shutdown, privacy advocates and big tech companies aren’t seeing eye to eye about a small piece of legislation tucked away on page 2,212.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, a.k.a. the CLOUD Act (H.R.4943S.2383) aims to simplify the way that international law enforcement groups obtain personal data stored by U.S.-based tech platforms — but the changes to that process are controversial.

As it stands, if a foreign government wants to obtain that data in the course of an investigation, a series of steps are necessary. First, that government must have a Mutual Legal Assistant Treaty (MLAT) with the U.S. government in place, and those treaties are ratified by the Senate. Then it can send a request to the U.S. Department of Justice, but first the DOJ needs to seek approval from a judge. After those requirements are met, the request can move along to the tech company hosting the data that the foreign government is seeking.

The debate around the CLOUD Act also taps into tech company concerns that foreign nations may move to pass laws in favor of data localization, or the process of storing users’ personal data within the borders of the country of which they are a citizen. That trend would prove both costly for cloud data giants and difficult, upending the established model of cloud data storage that optimizes for efficiency rather than carefully sorting out what data is stored within the borders of which country.

In a February 6 letter, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Oath (TechCrunch’s parent company) co-authored a letter calling the CLOUD Act “notable progress to protect consumers’ rights.”

In a late February blog post, Microsoft Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith addressed the issue. “The CLOUD Act creates both the incentive and the framework for governments to sit down and negotiate modern bi-lateral agreements that will define how law enforcement agencies can access data across borders to investigate crimes,” Smith wrote. “It ensures these agreements have appropriate protections for privacy and human rights and gives the technology companies that host customer data new statutory rights to stand up for the privacy rights of their customers around the world.”

In a recent opinion piece, ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani argues that the CLOUD Act sidesteps oversight from both the legislative and judicial branches, granting the attorney general and the state department too much discretion in choosing which governments the U.S. will enter into a data exchange agreement with.

The Center for Democracy and Technology also opposes the CLOUD Act on the grounds that it fails to protect the digital privacy of American citizens and the Electronic Frontier Foundation dismissed the legislation as “a new backdoor around the Fourth Amendment.” The Open Technology Institute also denounced the CLOUD Act’s provision to “allow qualifying foreign governments to enter into an executive agreement to bypass the human rights protective Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process when seeking data in criminal investigations and to seek data directly from U.S. technology companies.”

Both organizations acknowledge that improvements to the bill do partially address some of the human rights concerns associated with not requiring an MLAT in a data sharing agreement.

“While this version of the CLOUD Act includes some new safeguards, it is still woefully inadequate to protect individual rights,” OTI Director of Surveillance & Cybersecurity Policy Sharon Bradford Franklin said of the changes.

“Critically, the bill still would permit foreign governments to obtain communications data held in the United States without any prior judicial review, and it would allow foreign governments to obtain U.S.-held communications in real time without applying the safeguards required for wiretapping by the U.S. government. ”

The Consumer Technology Association voiced its support of the altered bill in a press release issued Thursday. “CTA thanks the House of Representatives for taking steps to empower America’s digital infrastructure for the 21st century. The inclusion of the CLOUD Act and RAY BAUM’S Act in today’s legislation ensures Americans can safely create, share and collect electronic data while providing them the resources to do so.”

While some changes made aspects of the bill more palatable to digital privacy watchdogs, some are objecting to the choice to tack it onto the omnibus spending bill.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke out Thursday against passing the CLOUD Act by attaching it to the spending bill.

“Tucked away in the omnibus spending bill is a provision that allows Trump, and any future president, to share Americans’ private emails and other information with countries he personally likes. That means he can strike deals with Russia or Turkey with nearly zero congressional involvement and no oversight by U.S. courts,” Wyden said. “This bill contains only toothless provisions on human rights that Trump’s cronies can meet by merely checking a box. It is legislative malpractice that Congress, without a minute of Senate debate, is rushing through the CLOUD Act on this must-pass spending bill.”

While the content of the CLOUD Act has evolved away from controversy with some modifications, the choice to pass it as part of the omnibus plan without further opportunity for public debate to examine its potential far-reaching implications is proving just as controversial as earlier forms of the legislation.

Zuck and Sandberg go M.I.A. as Congress summons Facebook leadership by name

The bad thing about making your face synonymous with the company you run: When you go M.I.A., everyone tends to notice.

The callout posts began over the weekend. Normal Facebook users don’t always track the tech press outrage cycle, but a flurry of reporting on Facebook’s mishandling of the private data of 50 million users, and Facebook’s subsequent mishandling of that mishandling — this after everything else — it seemed to stick in their craw.

Worse yet for Facebook, lawmakers that they’d already pissed off were happy to circle back for a second round after the company weaseled out of the first one. By Monday, a few angry, constituent-rousing tweets had snowballed into the kind of itemized list of questions that comes with a due date.

Congress is mad. And it might be as mad about this poorly handled Cambridge Analytica debacle as it is about getting stood up the last time around. Without any kind of public statement from one of the faces of the company, Facebook users are starting to feel stood up too.

Where in the world is… anyone?

Where does that leave Facebook leadership? So far, it’s nowhere to be found. No semi-intelligible non-apology calling to bring the world closer, if only we could, from Zuck. No lukewarm screed from Sandberg addressing a tertiary and much safer company concern. No nothing.

Ever since Facebook scooped The New York Times’ story on its company blog — “after a week of inquiries from The Times, Facebook downplayed the scope of the leak and questioned whether any of the data still remained out of its control. But on Friday, the company posted a statement expressing alarm and promising to take action…” — the most vocal company statements have come from Facebook Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal and the potentially outgoing head of information security Alex Stamos. It goes without saying that having a lawyer and the noble hacker guy who tried to quit out in front is not the most flattering look for a company so synonymous with its leadership team, namely Zuckerberg and Sandberg.

Sandberg specifically was named in a damning bit of The New York Times story on Stamos’s near rage-quit. That portion described how, according to sources, Stamos advocated for an aggressive investigation into Facebook’s Russia headache to the “consternation” of Facebook executives. Sandberg was the only named executive. That language has since been softened, describing how Stamos and Sandberg “disagreed early on over how proactive the social network should be in policing its own platform” but calling their relationship “productive.”

Zuckerberg and Sandberg did not attend a Tuesday town hall on the issue (nor were they scheduled to, as The Verge reported), and that’s apparently left employees wondering where their fearless leadership has gone.

Facebook’s feet to the fire: Round one recap

Late last year, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch joined lawyers from Twitter and Google to testify on the role the platform may have played in spreading viral disinformation during the 2016 election.

In a trio of public hearings, members of the Senate Judiciary and Senate and House Intel committees raked Facebook’s legal stunt double over the coals, occasionally tossing a question to Twitter or Google. It was a lot of careful lawyerspeak and a handful of cooperative gestures with no actual legislative buy-in. No one much was surprised.

The spiciest moments came when Senator Amy Klobuchar got Facebook counsel to admit that, if left unregulated, there would be no one to make them accountable for their actions. Stretch could only agree.

Facebook alone in the hot seat

This time around, Facebook might not clamber out of the hot water so easily. While the company had ample cover last time thanks to Google and Twitter’s twin implications in the controversy over Russian-bought political ads targeting U.S. voters, this time Facebook stands alone. The revelation that Facebook data on as many as 50 million users appears to have made its way into a political data operation with no consent from users is Facebook’s burden to bear alone.

Congress has legitimate interest in protecting users subject to the ad revenue-driven whims of a supposedly self-regulating tech platform, and, unfortunately for Facebook, big tech regulation is starting to look like something most people can get behind. The calls to get Zuckerberg under oath before Congress are picking up steam across at least three major congressional committees, not to mention the FTC and Parliament in the U.K.

Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Amy Klobuchar kicked off the Zuckerhunt over the weekend. Now, she’s flanked by colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

“The last time we had a hearing, Google and Twitter and Facebook sent their lawyers, which undoubtedly were expensive because they did a damn fine job of dodging and bobbing and weaving and they didn’t say a damn thing – which is what they were paid to do, or not to do, as the case may be,” Republican Senator John Kennedy told Politico. “This time, I hope the principals come and we can have a frank discussion.”

On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein joined lawmakers calling for Zuckerberg himself to testify.

Senate Commerce Committee

On Monday, Republican Commerce Chairman John Thune joined Senators Roger Wicker and Jerry Moran to assert its jurisdiction over data privacy and consumer protection issues at the fore of the Cambridge Analytica conversation. The committee will weigh Zuckerberg’s response to a letter it sent in deciding to summon him to testify.

“Mark Zuckerberg ought to be subpoenaed if he doesn’t appear voluntarily, to appear under oath, in public, along with other CEOs in the same space,” Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters on Monday night.

Senate Intelligence Committee

On Tuesday morning, the ranking Democrat on the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee also called for Zuckerberg to take the stand. Mark Warner, a vocal critic of Facebook’s initial response to the Russian ads revelations, isn’t one to let the company off the hook.

Before Warner’s call, Senate Intel member Ron Wyden — one of the biggest privacy advocates in Congress — issued a letter to Zuckerberg seeking answers on a number of detailed points on Monday, including how many privacy audits the company has conducted for apps on its platform and if Facebook has ever notified individual users of privacy violations of this nature. It’s likely that Wyden, who issued Facebook an April 13 deadline for his questions, supports Warner’s zeal for getting Zuck under oath.

Senate Intel chairman Richard Burr has yet to demand Zuckerberg’s appearance.

The bipartisan calls for accountability have been fast and firm. Unfortunately for Facebook, being mad at Facebook is something that brings people together — perhaps another unforeseen risk of building the world’s biggest social network.

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