Social Network Regulation Coming?

With the active debates over health care reform, Wall Street regulation and the war in Afghanistan, it’s hard to see where this issue lands on the priority list, butNew York Senator Charles Schumer is urging the FTC to consider implementing privacy guidelines for social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace. Apparently the issue got on the Senator’s radar when Facebook recently announced plans to facilitate information sharing among other Web sites. The day after Senator Schumer made that announcement, he was joined by two senate colleagues — Michael Bennett from Colorado and former SNL writer/actor Al Franken from Minnesota – who delivered a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to reconsider its announcement on information sharing. We’ll see what happens. The Web has had a tendency to police itself, and Facebook may have more trouble with a customer backlash than it does with the FTC. Before anyone rushes to introduce or pass legislation in this area, they really should consider whether existing tools – private law suits, market pressure, etc. – can accomplish the goal.