Is The Third Time The Charm For Congressmen Concerned With Facebook's Privacy Practices?

U.S. Reps Edward Markey and Joe Barton yesterday sent their their third letter to Facebook in seven months regarding privacy concerns.

U.S. Representatives Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-TX) expressed concern over recent security breaches in a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, their third letter to the company in seven months regarding privacy concerns.

The correspondence comes a day after Symantec revealed that a vulnerability gave advertisers and other third parties access to users’ accounts and personal information.

Facebook said in a statement Tuesday that the particular problem had been fixed immediately and that an investigation “revealed no evidence of this issue resulting in a user’s private information being shared with unauthorized third parties.”

Reps. Markey and Barton co-chair the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus.

The congressional pair’s first letter to Zuckerberg came in October, 2010, after the public learned that privacy breaches affecting tens of millions of Facebook users whose personal information was leaked to third party applications.

In January, Markey and Barton again wrote requesting an explanation after Facebook launched a new feature allowing external Websites and applications access to users’ addresses and phone numbers with their permission.

The co-chairs seems to be increasingly focused on Facebook’s use of third party apps in gathering user and friend data based on the correspondence with Facebook. In the latest salvo, they say, “While Facebook reportedly now has fixed this particular issue, we remain concerned about how the problem arose in the first place, was allowed to persist undetected for such a long period of time and could recur in some form in the future.”

As for Facebook, the company said this week it will be happy to walk through the latest fixes with the committee staff. The company has introduced a series of security fixes in recent months as legislators and regulators continue to focus on how Facebook protects user data.