Title Title
Facebook under investigation, says US consumer protection agency Facebook under investigation, says US consumer protection agency
Summary Summary
Facebook's stock fell sharply after FTC announcement, adding to falls since data scandal emerge  Facebook's stock saw another drop after the announcement
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>The U.S. government agency in charge of protecting American consumers <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/03/statement-acting-director-ftcs-bureau-consumer-protection">said it has opened an investigation</a> into Facebook's privacy practices. The announcement follows reports that millions of Facebook users' profiles were used by a political consulting company to <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/03/22/internet/political-data-firm-cambridge-analytica-suspended-by-facebook-after-expose/56110/">identify and influence voters</a> in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.</strong>  
  <strong>Facebook stocks took another <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=NASDAQ:FB&amp;stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgecRoyi3w8sc9YSmdSWtOXmNU4-IKzsgvd80rySypFJLgYoOy-KR4uLj0c_UNiqosM0pyeAC6ZzDPOgAAAA&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiknKXKporaAhVOC-wKHUlrD78QsRUIsQEwFQ&amp;biw=1200&amp;bih=695">tumble</a> on March 26 after the government agency in charge of protecting U.S. consumers <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/03/statement-acting-director-ftcs-bureau-consumer-protection">confirmed it opened an investigation</a> into the company's privacy practices. The announcement follows reports that millions of Facebook users' profiles were used by a political consulting company to <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/03/22/internet/political-data-firm-cambridge-analytica-suspended-by-facebook-after-expose/56110/">identify and influence voters</a> in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.</strong>
"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," said Tom Pahl in <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/03/statement-acting-director-ftcs-bureau-consumer-protection">a press release. </a>Pahl is the acting director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection.  "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," said Tom Pahl, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection, in <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/03/statement-acting-director-ftcs-bureau-consumer-protection">a press release.</a>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Discuss or suggest changes" buttons="talk"]</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="Discuss or suggest changes" buttons="talk"]</span>
<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/b774b0d4-3106-11e8-ac48-10c6fdc22f03">According to <em>The Financial Times</em></a> (may be behind paywall), the FTC's inquiry could result in steep fines for Facebook, which signed a consent order in 2011 that required it to be forthcoming with users about how their data was being shared. The company could face fines of up to $40,000 per violation per day – every misuse of user data could count as an individual breach. <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/b774b0d4-3106-11e8-ac48-10c6fdc22f03">According to <em>The Financial Times</em></a> (may be behind paywall), the FTC's inquiry could result in steep fines for Facebook, which signed a consent order in 2011 that required it to be forthcoming with users about how their data was being shared. The company could face fines of up to $40,000 per violation per day – every misuse of user data could count as an individual breach.
"We remain strongly committed to protecting people’s information. We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have," said<i> </i>Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer. Facebook hasn't yet replied to <em>WikiTribune</em>'s request for comment.
<span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="You can edit or expand it" buttons="edit"]</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">[contribute-c2a text="You can edit or expand it" buttons="edit"]</span>
In New York, the social media giant's stock price (<a href="https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=NASDAQ:FB&amp;stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgecRoyi3w8sc9YSmdSWtOXmNU4-IKzsgvd80rySypFJLgYoOy-KR4uLj0c_UNiqosM0pyeAC6ZzDPOgAAAA&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiknKXKporaAhVOC-wKHUlrD78QsRUIsQEwFQ&amp;biw=1200&amp;bih=695">NASDAQ:FB</a>) opened at $160.82 per share on Monday and fell to $149.67 per share at 11:20 a.m. EDT before rallying to $160.06 by the close of the market. Facebook shares have fallen nearly 16 percent since the  <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election"><em>The Observer</em></a> and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html"><em>The New York Times</em></a> first revealed Cambridge Analytica had used 50 million Facebook profiles to build software to target and influence voters in the latest U.S. presidential election.  In New York, the social media giant's stocks (<a href="https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=NASDAQ:FB&amp;stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgecRoyi3w8sc9YSmdSWtOXmNU4-IKzsgvd80rySypFJLgYoOy-KR4uLj0c_UNiqosM0pyeAC6ZzDPOgAAAA&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiknKXKporaAhVOC-wKHUlrD78QsRUIsQEwFQ&amp;biw=1200&amp;bih=695">NASDAQ:FB</a>) opened at $160.82 per share on Monday and fell to $149.67 per share at 11:20 a.m. EDT before rallying to $156.72 by 12:30 p.m. According to a <em>WikiTribune</em> analysis, the company has seen its share price decrease approximately 16 percent – wiping billions of dollars off its market value – since <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/cambridge-analytica-facebook-influence-us-election"><em>The Observer</em></a> and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html"><em>The New York Times</em></a> first revealed Cambridge Analytica had used 50 million Facebook profiles to build software to target and influence voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
<h2>State governments want answers</h2>  
In addition to the FTC probe, attorney generals <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cambridge-analytica-ftc/u-s-regulator-state-attorneys-look-for-answers-from-facebook-idUSKBN1H2212?il=0">from at least 37 states</a> came together Monday to formally request CEO Mark Zuckerberg explain Facebook's role with Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy firm affiliated with Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign.  
"As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we place a priority on protecting user privacy, which has been repeatedly placed at risk because of businesses’ failure to properly ensure those protections," reads the <a href="https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press_releases/NAAG%20Letter%20to%20Facebook.pdf">statement</a> from the National Association of Attorney Generals.  
Examples of questions directed at Zuckerberg include: Were those terms of service clear and understandable, or buried in boilerplate where few users would even read them? When did Facebook learn of this breach of privacy protections? During this timeframe, what other third party “research” applications were also able to access the data of unsuspecting Facebook users?  
The letter cited concerns that <a href="https://developers.facebook.com/policy/credits">Facebook takes "as much as 30 percent" of revenue from applications</a> that developers use to gather user data.  
<h2>European Union wants answers</h2>  
The European Commission joined the chorus of government officials demanding answers from Facebook. <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-cambridge-analytica-eu-lette/eu-presses-facebook-on-sharing-of-user-data-idUSKBN1H22DM?il=0">Reuters reported</a> that EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova sent a letter to Facebook on Monday asking whether any EU citizens were affected by "the recent scandal." The letter was addressed to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.  
Categories Categories
Internet Business, Culture, Current Affairs, Elections, Internet, Law, Markets, Media, North America, Politics, Technology, United States, Internet
Article type Article type
emerging emerging
Tags Tags
  Facebook, ftc, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Pahl
Author byline Author byline
Yes No
Has hero Has hero
Yes No
Hero Alignment Hero Alignment
full full
Hero Image URL Hero Image URL
None None
Featured Image URL Featured Image URL
  https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/03/22115832/2018-03-21T201141Z_966759904_RC1F8F058120_RTRMADP_3_FACEBOOK-CAMBRIDGE-ANALYTICA-ZUCKERBERG.jpg
Sources Sources

Subscribe to our newsletter

Be the first to collaborate on our developing articles

WikiTribune Open menu Close Search Like Back Next Open menu Close menu Play video RSS Feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Youtube Connect with us on Linkedin Connect with us on Discord Email us