lobbyist

Where are Facebook's friends on K Street?

June 9, 2010: 12:29 PM ET

The company still has no outside lobbyists even as it faces mounting privacy probes. Is Facebook's Washington strategy too little, too late?

By Anna Palmer, contributor

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

A recent political attack ad from Democratic candidate Kamala Harris for California attorney general blamed her opponent Chris Kelly, who also happens to be Facebook's former chief privacy officer, for designing the site's "condemned" privacy policies.

"Chris Kelly released your private information," the ad warned over ominous background music.

It's not surprising the issue came up in that race, but Harris won't likely be the last legislator who assigns political currency to the growing issue of social networking privacy.

While Facebook has started to make inroads in Washington in the past year, the small team it has assembled hasn't assuaged the concerns of Congress or its counterparts abroad. The nagging public relations problem around its privacy controls is turning into a political minefield.

It's not easy being Facebook. Precisely what makes it so successful -- uncomplicated controls that allow the least computer savvy users to easily connect with each other -- is under attack. More

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