Two members of Congress have sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking 18 questions about the privacy of users' information. One of the questions asks: "To what extent has Facebook determined that personal financial and medical data were breached?"

Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), co-chair of the bi-partisan privacy caucus, and Joe Barton (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, are reacting to an Oct. 18 story in the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported a series of privacy breaches have been occurring as vendors of third-party applications used on Facebook gather and transmit personally identifiable information about users and their friends.

"According to the article, this series of privacy breaches affected 'tens of millions' of users, even those who adjusted their privacy settings to the strictest settings possible," wrote Markey and Barton in their letter. "Give the number of current users, the rate at which that number grows worldwide, and the age range of Facebook users, combined with the amount and the nature of information these users place in Facebook's trust, this series of breaches of consumer privacy is a cause for concern."

Markey and Barton in their letter asked Zuckerberg for answers by Oct. 27. Text of the letter is available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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