Senate Committee Hears Testimony of Facebook Whistleblower
October 5, 2021
The Senate’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security convened this morning to hear the testimony of a Facebook whistleblower about Facebook’s harm and the need for regulation. Frances Haugen, a former Facebook project manager, has come forward to reveal that Facebook knew that its platforms were harmful, especially to young users. Haugen filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and leaked documents to the Wall Street Journal which published a detailed investigation of Facebook. Today, Haugen testified that “Facebook has repeatedly misled the public about what its own research reveals about the safety of children, the efficacy of its artificial intelligence systems, and its role in spreading divisive and extreme messages.” She urged Congress to regulate Facebook, stating “there needs to be a dedicated oversight body” and “Facebook can change but it’s clearly not going to do so on its own.” EPIC advocates for the creation of a dedicated Data Protection Agency. EPIC has fought for transparency and accountability for Facebook’s privacy abuses for over a decade, from filing the original FTC Complaint in 2009 that led to the FTC’s 2012 Consent Order with the company, to moving to intervene in and filing an amicus brief challenging the FTC’s 2019 settlement with Facebook.