Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday accused Facebook attorney Colin Stretch of having a "casual relationship with the truth" when he testified on Capitol Hill about how the social network protects the privacy of its users.
"This is not some game," the Louisiana attorney told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"Facebook reaches about a third of the world's population. It has the ability to influence what we believe, how we vote, what we buy, how we feel. It does that because it has massive amounts of private data about each of us, those of use that use Facebook, and it's very important that Facebook protects that data," Kennedy said.
Kennedy made the comments in response to an article in Law and Crime. According to the website, Stretch testified to Kennedy that Facebook had ended the ability for its employees to either compile or access individual users' profiles.
However, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that a small group of employees indeed do have the abillity to view users' profiles, without them finding out.
"Facebook says that it is protecting that data, but its business model is to exploit that data," said Kennedy. "This is what concerns me. Let's suppose that a foreign government came to Facebook and said I will give you -- we will give you $250 million to give us the profile, name and data connected on every single member of the United States Congress. What websites they visited, where they go to eat, everything about them. Facebook says it wouldn't do that."
Kennedy added that he is "not saying that they aren't telling the truth," but at the same time, "I play poker with my friends. They are my friends and I trust them but I cut the cards. All we have is Facebook's word that it wouldn't do that and we have its general counsel under oath even denying they have the ability to do that when [Mark] Zuckerberg said that they did."
He said he does believe Stretch was either "stretching the truth" or that he just didn't know, which he finds hard to believe.
"He is a general counsel, and he is a very accomplished attorney," said Kennedy. "We got the truth from Mr. Zuckerberg and I appreciated him being candid but it's as if at these hearings Facebook is treating these hearings like it is some kind of game."
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