Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), co-chairmen of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus asked Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, to respond to questions about Facebook's proposed plan to make its users' addresses and mobile phone numbers available to third party websites and application developers. In a press release dated February 2, 2011, Reps. Barton and Markey announced that they asked Zuckerberg to respond to the following questions:
- Would any user information in addition to address and mobile phone number be shared with third party application developers under the feature as originally planned, and was any of this information shared prior to Facebook’s announcement that it would suspend implementation of the feature?
- What user information will be shared with third party application developers once the feature is re-enabled?
- What was Facebook’s process for developing and vetting the feature referenced above before the feature was suspended, and what was the process that led Facebook to decide to suspend the rollout of this feature? What is the process Facebook is currently employing to adjust the feature prior to re-enabling it?
- What consideration was given to risks to children and teenagers posed by enabling third parties access to their home addresses and mobile phone numbers through Facebook when designing the new feature?
- What is the opt-in and opt-opt option for this new feature?
- Why is Facebook, after previously acknowledging in a letter to Reps. Markey and Barton that sharing a Facebook User ID could raise user concerns, subsequently considering sharing access to even more sensitive personal information such as home addresses and phone numbers to third parties?
These questions follow a request by the two Representatives sent to Facebook about companies allegedly gaining access to Facebook users’ personal information without their consent or knowledge.