- Hot after her appearance in Congress, Frances Haugen is now ready to give evidence to MPs in the British Parliament. EU lawmakers have also invited him for a hearing.
- Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, told a Senate panel last week that leadership at the company prioritizes “profits before the people” and called on lawmakers to intervene.
- This comes at a crucial moment for Big Tech companies. Both the UK government and the European Union are introducing new regulatory regimes for the digital giant.
LONDON — The Facebook whistleblower who leaked internal company research showing Instagram can be harmful to teens is set to testify in Europe.
On the heels of her appearance in Congress, Frances Haugen is now set to give evidence to lawmakers in the British Parliament, according to a Statement Released on Monday.
She will appear on October 25 before a parliamentary committee, which has testified for the first time in Europe, the statement said.
Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, told a Senate panel last week that leadership at the company prioritizes “profits before the people” and called on lawmakers to intervene.
This comes after whistleblowers leaked an internal Facebook study to the Wall Street Journal, in which the company found that its Instagram app is harmful to teenage girls.
Over the weekend, Facebook chief spokesman Nick Clegg said the social media firm would introduce new features to wean teens away from harmful content and encourage users to “take a break” for longer periods of time on Instagram.
“There is a need for greater transparency when decisions are made by companies like Facebook when they trade user security for user safety,” said British Member of Parliament and chairman of the Joint Committee on the Government’s Online Security Bill, Damien Collins.
The UK government is introducing new legislation that would impose a duty of care on digital giants to ensure they monitor and act against illegal or harmful content online. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to 10% of annual global revenue or £18 million ($24 million), whichever is greater.
Meanwhile, EU lawmakers have also invited Haugen to appear at a November 8 hearing on whistleblowers in tech.
“Whistleblowers like Francis Haugen show the urgent need to set democratic rules for the online world in the interest of users,” Anna Cavazzini, chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Markets and Consumer Protection, said in a statement. Statement Monday.
“Their disclosures exposed the inherent conflict between the business model of the platform and the interests of users.”
The EU has its own plan to regulate Big Tech. The Block is working to introduce two landmark laws – the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act – designed to stamp out toxic content and increase competition.