Senator Lummis Questions Facebook Whistleblower About Protecting Wyoming’s Kids

October 5, 2021

In Commerce Committee hearing, Lummis stresses importance of protecting kids on social media and privacy rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis questioned Frances Haugen, a former employee of Facebook who recently released thousands of internal documents from Facebook to the Wall Street Journal and law enforcement in September 2021. During a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee hearing related to privacy laws, Senator Lummis and Ms. Haugen discussed how to best protect children on social media.

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“I am committed to protecting the privacy rights of the people of Wyoming from ‘big tech’ companies,” Senator Lummis said during the hearing. “These companies are legally allowed to collect data on every American, oftentimes without their knowledge or consent, and I am very concerned about how that data is being used. Most importantly, I want to protect our children from the pitfalls of both social media and internet usage more broadly. For example, children are subjected to the effects of depression, eating disorders, and image dysmorphia from using social media.” 

During the hearing, Senator Lummis discussed steps Congress can take after Haugen’s explosive revelations, and her desire to preserve the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights of Americans when looking at potential regulations. She told Haugen that she looks forward to working with her on this issue in the coming months as Congress takes next steps. 

Senator Lummis added, “Residents of Wyoming care about their privacy, and Congress must act to protect these essential rights for the people of Wyoming, and all Americans. Passing a strong, bipartisan, and consumer-focused data privacy standard is the first step Congress must take to reign in these large technology platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.” 

Last week, Senator Lummis participated in two Commerce Committee hearings related to the overreach of tech companies and consumer privacy. To watch, click here and here

Senator Lummis also authored an op-ed this week in The Hill highlighting numerous examples of privacy invasiveness by big tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.