Bipartisan cooperation doesn’t come easy, of course. But when it comes to regulating Facebook, members of Congress may well find common ground. “I would not organize this along party lines, at all,” Costello told me … “I think that if anything the very conservative and very liberal strands of the party probably, or my sense, is that they are much more critical.”
If they’re really willing to work together, there’s another idea for constraining Facebook: creating a new expert regulatory agency that focuses specially on digital privacy, perhaps an internet equivalent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “We should consider starting discussions on a digital data consumer protection agency, one that will take a comprehensive look clear across different industries to make sure that we’re all safe” said Rep. Raul Ruiz, a Democrat from California, who will be questioning Zuckerberg on Wednesday.
All the members I spoke with said they are deeply concerned with data privacy and think that something needs to be done, pointing to problems with Facebook’s collect-it-all business model and how long Facebook stores people’s data and whom Facebook shares user data with.