Facebook Declines Invite to Teen Privacy Briefing

Facebook has declined a congressional invitation to a Dec. 14 Hill briefing on teen and kids privacy.

The invitation came from Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), the co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, who extended it Wednesday to either social network founder Mark Zuckerberg or a representative. They wanted Facebook to talk about its settlement of privacy violation allegations by the FTC and how it would protect children and teens online in the future.

"We are disappointed that Facebook has declined our invitation to brief Members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus," wrote Reps. Markey and Barton in a letter to Facebook. "Given Facebook's widespread use by children and teenagers, as well as its recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations, we felt that it was important for Facebook to participate in this briefing."

They said the Dec.14 briefing would go on with or without Facebook.

"Facebook is committed to continuing to offer easily accessible tools so people can control how they share information and with whom, In fact, over the last 18 months alone, we announced more than 20 new tools and resources designed to give people more control over their Facebook experience, many of which were described in a recent blog post by our founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg," the company said in a statement. "We communicate regularly with lawmakers about these issues and look forward continuing that productive dialogue."

A Facebook source speaking on background said the company works frequently with the congressional committees of jurisdiction.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.