WASHINGTON—Ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the world’s top science and tech-policy think tank, released the following statement from ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro:
Facebook is not the problem, but it can be part of the solution. Facebook needs to demonstrate that it genuinely understands the real concerns its users have about how third-parties get access to their personal information, and it needs to take the necessary steps to ensure user data is protected.
But the U.S. should not blindly follow Europe’s direction toward comprehensive data protection regulations. These strict rules have failed Europe, and they would kneecap the U.S. Internet economy, as well. Its light-touch approach to Internet regulation has made the U.S. digital economy the envy of the world. Taking steps toward European-style privacy regulation would offer only marginal value to users, but it would significantly erode U.S. competitiveness and Internet innovation.
Members of Congress should resist the urge to legislate how tech companies design their services. Instead, Members of Congress and regulators should hold Facebook accountable for its public commitments and past promises, and ensure that the company continues its transformation into a more responsible corporate citizen.