'Doggone It, They've Gotta Stop Doing This': Kennedy Blasts Facebook, Zuckerberg Over New Privacy Report
Says Congress may be forced to regulate.
Sen. John N. Kennedy (R-La.) joined Bill Hemmer on "America's Newsroom" Wednesday to react to a bombshell report on Facebook giving big tech companies "intrusive access" to the personal data of its 2.2. billion users.
According to the New York Times, Facebook allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of almost all Facebook users' friends without consent and gave Netflix and Spotify access to Facebook users' private messages.
The Mark Zuckerberg-led company allowed Amazon to get users' names and contact information through their friends and permitted Yahoo to view streams of friends' posts. Facebook also reportedly allowed Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada to read and delete users' private messages and to see all participants on a thread.
In a statement posted to its blog, Facebook said none of these features or partnerships gave companies access to information without people's permission, nor did they violate its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
"The hits just keep on coming," Kennedy said. "Mr. Zuckerberg told us that he was going to stop doing this, and now we find out yet again that Facebook has sold our private messages to other companies for bucketloads of money."
He said that could happen once as a mistake, but for it to happen again, "it's a choice" on the part of the company's leaders.
"I don't want to regulate Facebook, but doggone it, they've got to stop doing this," Kennedy said. "Facebook reaches 2 billion people. We're not talking about a few emails here. Facebook is no longer a company, it's a country."
He said Zuckerberg is clearly a bright guy -- quipping that the Facebook founder and CEO could spot him 75 IQ points -- but said sometimes it seems like he has no sense.
"Congress is going to have to regulate 'em and stop this. And I hate to do it, but by God I will if they can't clean up their act."
Watch more from Kennedy above.