Washington: The US should consider breaking up Facebook, according to Kamala Harris, the first Indian-origin Senator and one of the Democrats eyeing the White House in the 2020 presidential race, saying that the world’s largest social media company is “essentially a utility that has gone unregulated”.
Harris, Senator from California where all the major US tech giants are based, said that Facebook has experienced massive growth and has prioritised its growth consumers’ interests, especially on privacy, she said in an interview to CNN on Sunday.
“I think we have to seriously take a look at that, yes. When you look at the issue, they’re essentially a utility,” Harris, 54, was quoted as saying.
“There are very few people that can actually get by, and be involved in their communities and society, or in whatever their profession, without somehow, somewhere using Facebook. It’s very difficult for people to be engaged in any level of commerce without it.” “So, we have to recognise it for what it is: It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s got to stop,” Harris added.
Earlier, another Democratic 2020 candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren had also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.
Facebook has been under scrutiny from regulators around the world over data sharing practices.
Facebook is set to pay a fine of anywhere from USD 3 billion to USD 5 billion to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its handling of users’ data and privacy violations, especially the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which involved 87 million users.