The Federal Trade Commission has confirmed that it is investigating Facebook's privacy practices after it was revealed that the company allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the personal data of some 50 million Facebook users without their express consent.
"The FTC takes very seriously the recent press reports that raise substantial concerns about Facebook's privacy practices, and today the FTC confirms that it has opened a non-public investigation into these practices," the agency said in a statement. Refusing to comment last week when Bloomberg reported that an investigation had been opened.
Specifically, the investigation seeks to find out if Facebook violated a consent decree, which requires the social network to obtain explicit permission from users to share their data with third parties, which it signed with the agency in 2011. If Facebook is found guilty, the company could be fined up to $ 40,000 per violation, CNBC reports.
Today's announcement follows a series of negative reactions to Facebook since the news of Cambridge Analytica came to light, with a UK parliamentary committee calling on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to declare that Facebook's actions be erased and erase billions of your market value. decrease. Since then, Zuckerberg apologized for the mismanagement, both in interviews with the media and in full-page press notices, adding that he would be willing to testify before Congress if it is right for him.
The full statement of the FTC is below.
The FTC is firmly committed to the use of all its tools to protect consumer privacy. The main one of these tools is the enforcement action against companies that do not honor their privacy promises, even to comply with Privacy Shield, or participate in unfair acts that cause substantial harm to consumers in violation of the FTC Act. Businesses that have resolved previous FTC actions must also comply with FTC order provisions that impose privacy and data security requirements. As a result, the FTC takes very seriously the recent press reports that raise substantial concerns about Facebook's privacy practices. Today, the FTC confirms that it has an open, non-public investigation into these practices.