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Facebook Declines Congress’ Invite to Teen Privacy Briefing

12/12/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

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

The invitation came from Reps. Ed Markey (DMass.)
and Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-chairs of the
Congressional Privacy Caucus, who extended it last
Wednesday (Dec. 7) to either Mark Zuckerberg, the
social network’s founder, or a representative. They
wanted Facebook to talk about its settlement of
privacy violation allegations by the Federal Trade
Commission and how that 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,”
Markey and Barton wrote
in a letter to the social-networking
website. “Given Facebook’s
widespread use by children and
teen-agers, 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,” the company said in a statement. “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. We communicate regularly with lawmakers
about these issues and look forward to continuing that productive
dialogue.”

September