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Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Facebook's board of directors is expanding the charter of the its audit committee, chaired by former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, to cover risk oversight responsibilities like data privacy, community safety and cybersecurity.

Bottom line: The move is largely cosmetic, as Facebook's audit committee already had such responsibilities, but is designed to reassure shareholders that the company takes its social responsibility seriously.

"Facebook has grown significantly since going public, and so has the role of the audit committee, especially its role managing risk oversight. To reflect this, the Board updated the committee's charter to clarify how the committee's role has grown, as well as to address other evolving issues, particularly in the areas of privacy and data use, community safety and security, and cybersecurity.”
— Erskine Bowles

The board's audit committee will be renamed its audit and risk oversight committee. Members include Bowles, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Obama economic advisor Jeff Zients.

  • Other Facebook directors include CEO Mark Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellman.

Most public companies require their boards to have audit committees to oversee financial reporting, disclosure and risk.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

5 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.