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The Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica is at the center of a growing scandal for Facebook. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Facebook's response to the controversy over Cambridge Analytica's illicit gathering of its user data haven't satisfied many of its critics on Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: New data privacy regulations would upend Facebook's business model, so the company is looking to address lawmakers' fears this week.

What they're saying:

  • "The steps Facebook has laid out to protect its users are a start but Zuckerberg still needs to come testify," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Twitter.
  • "Given Mr. Zuckerberg’s public comment today that “at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform’, it is all the more appropriate that he personally represent his company in an appearance before Congress," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a statement.
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), in a NPR interview, called Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's statement on the scandal a "very superficial mea culpa."
  • “They deserve to be credited with some first steps but they are only first steps," said Blumenthal. "So I am far from satisfied that these very vague and overarching commitments will satisfy their users and consumers, either."

But, but, but: The company's loudest critics so far have been Democrats and Republicans who aren't in congressional leadership. Real trouble, like legislation or a hearing featuring Zuckerberg, would come for Facebook if that frustration spreads to Republican leaders and committee chairs.

  • The Senate Commerce Committee sent questions to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica earlier this week. A similar inquiry in 2016 about a scandal with Facebook's Trending Tropics feature never led to hearings or legislation.
  • Facebook is briefing six committees in the House and Senate this week on the Cambridge Analytica issue. A spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee said their briefing had taken place already. "We are continuing to examine the issue closely and gather the facts," the spokesperson said.

Also looming over Facebook are investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and multiple state attorneys general. The company is holding a briefing on Thursday for AGs around the country and one of its lawyers said Tuesday that it appreciates "the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have."

Go deeper

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

Photo: Filip Filipovic/Getty Images

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
34 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.