A number of federal agencies including FBI, FTC and SEC have joined on the investigation os Facebook’s disclosures and the company’s statements about its response to the improper use of its user information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have joined the Justice Department and will carry forward the probe into how the personal information of 71 million Americans was distributed by Facebook and used by Cambridge Analytica.
Reportedly the investigation will focus on what Facebook disclosed about its information sharing with Cambridge Analytica and whether those disclosures correlate to the timeline that’s being established by government investigators.
Facebook, however must be cautious as the government may decide that the company didn’t reveal enough to either investors or the public about the extent of the misallocation of user data. Another concern is whether the Cambridge Analytica decision violated the terms of an earlier settlement Facebook made with the Federal Trade Commission.
The strengthened investigation may be a cause of dire concern for CEO Mark Zuckerberg who had given his lengthy testimony vefore the congress .
Facebook had answered all the questions posed by the congress in an almost 200 page long document.
The Federal Trade Commission first confirmed that it was investigating Facebook in March.
Acting director Tom Pahl said at the time:
“The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act. Companies who have settled previous FTC actions must also comply with FTC order provisions imposing privacy and data security requirements. Accordingly, 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.”
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