A Valley News Publication

Questions for Facebook: VT & NH attorneys general join 36 of their peers in ‘demanding answers’

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan have joined a total of 38 state and territorial AGs in sending a letter “demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s business practices and privacy protections,” according to a news release from the N.H. AG’s Office.

This, of course, comes in the wake of last week’s news that “Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, gained access to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users,” as reported by the New York Times in this explainer.

Here’s a list of questions about Facebook’s policies and practices, as summarized in the news release:

  • Were (Facebook’s) terms of service clear and understandable?
  • How did Facebook monitor what these developers did with all the data that they collected?
  • What type of controls did Facebook have over the data given to developers?
  • Did Facebook have protective safeguards in place, including audits, to ensure developers were not misusing the Facebook user’s data?
  • How many users in the states of the signatory Attorneys General were impacted?
  • When did Facebook learn of this breach of privacy protections?
  • During this time frame, what other third party “research” applications were also able to access the data of unsuspecting Facebook users?

You can read the full letter and see all of its signatories below.

And if your head is still spinning from all of this Cambridge Analytica stuff, I found last week’s episode of NYT podcast The Daily to be a great primer on the topic.

Shucks, we missed Weights and Measures Week

But apparently … that’s a national thing … that Vermont celebrated (or, as they said, recognized). That’s according to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, who provided the video and photos below for the national even that took place March 1 through 7.

According to the agency, the week is “a time to recognize the important role of weights and measures regulatory programs across the country.

“The date of this year’s Weights and Measures Week is significant as it marks the signing of the first Weights and Measures law by John Adams on March 2, 1799. Throughout the country, thousands of weights and measures inspectors work diligently to enforce laws designed to not only protect consumers but to also develop a level playing field in commerce wherever a weight or measure is involved.”

Weights! Measures!

Testing 1,000 lb. weights in the Weights & Measures Metrology Laboratory.

Equipment used for checking packages for accurate weight in grocery stores.

Mike Larose testing a vehicle scale using the heady duty scale test truck and weights.

Sorry we missed it, y’all. We’ll mark our calendars for next year.