Days after the Wall Street Journal reported privacy problems with Facebook’s applications, and then similar problems at social-networking site MySpace, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (Democrat, West Virginia), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has asked “top executives of Facebook Inc. and MySpace to detail how they safeguard information about users.” (Congressmen Ed Markey (Democrat, Massachusetts) and Joe Barton (Republican, Texas) also have asked Facebook about the reported privacy breaches.)
The Journal’s articles “raise serious questions about social networking sites’ commitment to enforcing their own privacy policies,” Sen. Rockefeller said in a release. The senator said he aimed to learn whether the sites “are adequately protecting their users’ personal information.” […]
In his letter to Mr. Zuckerberg, Sen. Rockefeller zeroed in on how Facebook enforces its privacy policies. He asked how many people Facebook assigns to monitor applications and the penalties it imposes when it discovers violations.
A Facebook spokesman said the company is “happy to work with Sen. Rockefeller to answer any questions he may have.” The spokesman said Facebook takes “action as appropriate” against apps violating its privacy policies. Facebook last week also said it planned to begin encrypting user IDs when they are transmitted. […]
A MySpace spokesman said the company received Sen. Rockefeller’s letter and “we are in the process of reviewing it. We plan to respond in a timely manner.”