WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today released the following statement on the announcement by Facebook that data from 87 million Facebook users was shared with Cambridge Analytica.
“Today we learned that 37 million more Facebook users unknowingly had their data given to Cambridge Analytica. 87 million is a shocking number of people and roughly the combined populations of California, Texas and New York. More must be done. No one wants their personal information sent to campaign consultants without their permission, regardless of who they vote for.
“As we move forward, the Congressional hearings are critical; we need more privacy protections in law; and with the election upon us we must pass my bipartisan Honest Ads Act to hold the social media companies to the same standards for paid political ads as other media companies.”
As Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, Klobuchar has introduced legislation to improve the security of U.S. election systems and protect our country’s elections from future foreign influence. In October, Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act with U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology. The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.
In December, Klobuchar introduced the Secure Elections Act with James Lankford (R-OK), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign interference in future elections. The Secure Elections Act streamlines cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies; provides security clearances to state election officials; and provides resources for states to upgrade election security. This bipartisan solution would bolster our election systems against future threats while protecting states’ primacy in running elections.
Klobuchar and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) have also introduced the bipartisan Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act to strengthen disclosure by requiring federal campaigns to use existing credit card verification protocols to help verify that online credit card donations come from U.S. sources. In June, Klobuchar introduced the Helping State and Local Governments Prevent Cyber Attacks Act to help combat foreign interference by providing state and local governments with the information and resources they need to keep our elections secure and improve voter confidence.