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Congressman Cárdenas: Transparency needed after Facebook privacy news

Jan 30, 2019
Press Release

I have learned today that Facebook has been paying Americans to download a research app to let the company obtain the user’s phone and web activity since 2016. They have taken the app off iOS platforms since this news broke, but it still remains on Android platforms. 

What’s the big deal?  We know they collect data.  But it is different here because they are paying 13-YEAR-OLDS to collect their information.   

Facebook paid Americans ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to access their phones and access their information.  Facebook has talked so much about wanting to provide privacy policies that are transparent and understandable.  Legal adults barely understand what is happening to their data and personal information—how can we expect more from our children? 

When my kids were 13, which was not that long ago, they were worrying about school, their friends, sports and art classes. At 16, they were also thinking about working so they could start saving up. They were not worrying about a company collecting their private messages or chats from social media and messaging applications. They were not worrying about a company collecting photos and videos they send to others. They were not worrying about how this collected information would be used, sold, or affect them in the future.

Now Facebook offering a little cash in exchange for extremely private information that the government generally requires a court hearing and an order to get.  They say they require parental consent, but what does that even mean? Mark Zuckerberg needs to explain to the People’s House what he was thinking.