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FTC Launches Facebook Probe

by Countable | Updated on 3.27.18

What’s the story?

  • The Federal Trade Commission confirmed in a statement on Monday that it is investigating Facebook’s privacy practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

  • The Trump-linked data-mining firm improperly obtained personal information on as many as 50 million Facebook users.

  • "The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices," the agency said in a statement.

Why does it matter?

  • Members of Congress and privacy advocates have called for the FTC to investigate whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent decree with the agency.

  • Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts tweeted on Monday:

  • "We remain strongly committed to protecting people's information," Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer, said in a statement. "We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have."

What do you think?

Is the FTC investigation enough? Should Congress call Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify personally in his company’s role in the data leak? Should Cambridge Analytica be barred from working for campaigns in the United States? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(39)
  • Dara
    03/27/2018
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    Facebook should be accountable for all of their actions. Personal information should be guarded at all costs. NEVER should personal information be given out for any reason to any entity.

    Like (19)
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  • Kevin
    03/27/2018
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    Facebook is not the only company that has misused personal data and abused the trust of clients. I think that ANY company that handles personal data be required to meet strict standards of security, and they should be held liable for any breach! They should also be required to provide free credit monitoring to anyone who’s personal information was hacked!

    Like (16)
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  • Patricia
    03/27/2018
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    Facebook has controlled too much for too long. Their lack of concern for the user is exceeded only by the lead ego in charge. He should appear before Congress and tell the truth without sugarcoating or attempting to edge around the problems FB has. There is also no doubt that Cambridge Analytica should be denied as much access to our democracy as is humanly possible. We have seen all to well what happens when self-serving citizens and politicians try to overrule the will of the majority, especially using foreign intervention.

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  • Lexpost
    03/27/2018
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    It seems that Facebook has been playing fast and loose with their users. At a minimum, Facebook should be notifying the 50 million users whose info was apparently thrown to the wind without any promises and safeguards in place to prevent its misuse. For those who want to engage in ‘whataboutism’ the big difference between this data bomb and Obama’s actions, is being able to opt in, instead of being deceived.

    Like (13)
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  • Marc
    03/27/2018
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    Good, this is exactly what the FTC is supposed to do

    Like (6)
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  • Luke
    03/27/2018
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    Quick lesson: If you put something online everyone and anyone can see it if they really really want to.

    Like (5)
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  • Bernie
    03/27/2018
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    No one had any issue when Barrack Obama mined EVERY US PROFILE. In 2008 and 2012. What are the odds that THAT is even considered or looked at! Zero. Yet another show trial.... https://fxn.ws/2GtY0gI......”So if Facebook gave the Obama campaign free access to this type of data when it normally does not do so for other entities – or usually charges for such access – then Facebook would appear to have violated the federal ban on in-kind contributions by a corporation. And the Obama campaign may have violated the law by accepting such a corporate contribution.”

    Like (4)
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  • RadicalModerate
    03/28/2018
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    I’m confident that my out of touch congressman John Katko, will uphold the will of his campaign donors.

    Like (3)
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  • NoHedges
    03/28/2018
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    Listen to the interview with NJ Republican Congressman on NPR! The FTC is on a witch hunt, they are attempting to draw attention away from the fact that the Trump campaign hired these bozos and incite fear and anger at Facebook. Again all to move the spotlight off Trump's involvement.

    Like (2)
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  • David
    03/27/2018
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    Why is this a problem now? The former occupant of the Oval Office did the same thing and no one made a sound about it. I’m so sick of the hypocrisy and double standards of the left and the Democrats,

    Like (2)
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  • Brennan
    03/28/2018
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    Anyone distributing your product/profile information, alongside sapping the information of your acquaintances WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION sounds like a 4th amendment case waiting to happen. SHAME on you Facebook and Zuckerburg!!

    Like (2)
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  • Lori
    03/27/2018
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    Our private information should not be for sale. Facebook should be correcting the problems and not let another election be influenced from lies, foreign politics, and propaganda.

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  • Lionman
    03/27/2018
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    I wonder how long it will take for this inquiry to be shut down…?

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  • DEGUp
    03/29/2018
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    When one does something in public, he should consider the result public, even when the window the public peers through is a computer screen.

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  • Kurt
    03/28/2018
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    It's sweet that Zuckerberg is "willing" to appear before congress. Subpoena his ass and get some answers.

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  • Lynn
    03/27/2018
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    Crush ‘em. Out of control, too powerful, too brainless to regulate themselves. And it will only get worse. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Always has, always will. Turn Facebook off for good. Everybody’s good. No long term downside at all.

    Like (1)
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  • NotAmused
    03/27/2018
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    The FTC investigation is important. We need to fully understand what happened in order to develop any regulations to help prevent it from happening again and to inform the imposition of penalties. As for Cambridge Analytica, I think it’s pretty clear that no legitimate entity should do business with them.

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  • John
    03/27/2018
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    Didn't I hear somewhere that "If ya don't want it published, don't put it on FB". (or anywhere else on the internet, fir that matter.)

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  • Tim
    03/27/2018
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    Read those terms & conditions carefully all you clever, smart people.

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  • Azrael
    03/27/2018
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    Let’s have them pay for all the destruction to our democracy They are accomplices Somebody has to go to jail and someone has to provide restitution

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