Frances Haugen closing statement before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security Hearing on “Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower”
A pattern that we have seen throughout time with regard to technologies is that humans are very crafty people. Like we find interesting solutions. But we often get out over our skis, right. We develop things that are of larger scale than we know really know how to handle. And what we have done in the past is when we see this happen, we take a step back, and we find institutions, and we find frameworks for doing these things in a safe way.
We live in a moment where whistleblowers are very important, because these technological systems are walled off. They are very complicated. They’re things that you need to be a specialist to really understand the consequences of.
And the fact that we’ve been having the exact same kinds of false choice discussions about what to do about Facebook, you know, is it about privacy or oversight? Is it about censorship, or safety? The fact that we’re being asked these false choices, it’s just an illustration of what happens when the real solutions are hidden inside of companies.
We need more tech employees to come forward through legitimate channels like the SEC or Congress to make sure that the public has the information they need in order to have technologies be human centric, not, not, not computer centric.