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Facebook faces more scrutiny in 2019

Sarah Sandberg swearing in front of Congress to go under oath
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Given all the data Facebook collects and its barrage of data controversies in 2018, expect the social network to be under a microscope this year.

Background: Democrats have already signaled they’re serious about pushing some data privacy legislation as they take back the House this month. Republicans won't be sitting on the sidelines. 

Missouri’s Republican Sen.-elect Josh Hawley, who initiated an investigation into Facebook’s data practices as the state’s attorney general, tells Axios' David McCabe: 

"I highly doubt that many members of the public understand the breadth, in fact probably zero members of the public understand the breadth [of Facebook’s data collection]. The data collection is massive, it is largely unknown by consumers, and what particularly concerns me is the distinct possibly — I think probability — that consumers have not consented to this collection."

ICYMI: Just 2 weeks ago, D.C.’s attorney general sued Facebook for allegedly misleading consumers about its data sharing practices.  

  • And there's pressure on the Federal Trade Commission to act, with governments in Europe and elsewhere also eager to have a say.

Go deeper: Why privacy legislation has a good chance of passing in 2019