Eric Holder Says That Tech Companies Such As Facebook May Need Their Own Regulatory System

Eric Lieberman | Associate Editor

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that companies such as Facebook may need their own regulation system given news stories showing how the company’s service can and has been manipulated.

“There is a way in which I think we have to think of these platforms as communication companies, and what then does that mean in terms of how they should be regulated,” Holder said during a talk with The New York Times’ Alex Burns. “They’re maybe not exactly like traditional communications companies, and so maybe we ought to be looking at a different regulatory scheme.”

Holder’s calls for more potential government oversight — something that is becoming more common by the day — was in response to question posed by Burns over whether the government needs to intervene in the social media industry since Russian operatives reportedly tried to stoke the already-impassioned flames of division in the U.S through social media.

“That question has to be asked,” Holder continued, while saying there needs to be some freedom to avoid stifling innovation and freedom to communicate. “I think these hearings that are coming up, I hope we’ll keep to a minimum the grandstanding going on. There needs to be a real, substantive interaction between people who run these platforms and people who pass the laws so that we can come up with a scheme that will protect people from the kind of breaches that have occurred.”

Holder is just one of many to ring the alarm over concerns that Facebook doesn’t do nearly enough to protect people’s data — specifically their listed characteristics, traits and tendencies. In fact, a lot of the public is disturbed at how Facebook makes considerable amounts of money through extracting, collecting and sharing user information.

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