Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, suggested at a Senate hearing Thursday that young people lack "social values."
"It's my general feeling that people who are 20, 21, 22 years old really don't have any social values," Rockefeller told a representative of Facebook. The West Virginia senator pointed to this as the reason that the founder of the company, 27-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, did not put more of a focus on privacy issues.
The comment came during a Senate commerce committee subcommittee on consumer protection hearing on online privacy protections featuring Facebook, Apple and Google representatives. Also at issue was the information that smartphones and their applications collect about their users. Rockefeller is chairman of the full committee.
Rockefeller and many other senators say technology companies aren't doing enough to protect privacy and say its time for the government to step in and set minimum privacy standards. Facebook argues that putting more limits on the use of consumer data will hurt the company.
"Facebook is fundamentally about sharing, and adopting overly restrictive policies will prevent our social features from functioning in the way that individuals expect and demand," Facebook's chief technology officer Bret Taylor said in written testimony.