Faced with challenges to its privacy policies, Facebook did a familiar thing here in the Washington, D.C. area. It hired a lobbyist.
But not just any lobbyist. Facebook hired Timothy Sparapani to help shape bureaucrats’ view of FB, the third most-viewed site in the world.
The irony is that Sparapani used to be one of Facebook’s most ardent critics. As the former senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Sparapani is a prominent privacy advocate. He used to argue that Internet companies had far too much control over consumers’ data.
In hiring the lobbyist, Facebook is apparently reacting to the growing concern that the U.S. Congress will consider restrictions on how Internet companies collect, store, and use consumer data. The Washington Post reports that privacy watchdogs say Internet companies’ self-regulation has failed to adequately tell customers how their personal information is being treated online.