Social

Facebook Misused Privacy Decree to Shut Down Research on Political Advertisements, Says US FTC

The US Federal Trade Commission criticised Facebook on Thursday for making “misleading claims” to explain why it had disabled the accounts of researchers studying political advertisements on the social media platform.

Facebook said on Tuesday it had cut off the personal accounts and access of the New York University researchers because of concerns about other users’ privacy.

Facebook had initially said that the decision was made out of a need for the social media giant to live up to a consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission.

But Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne later told Wired that the consent decree was not a reason to disable the researchers’ accounts. Instead, the decree required the creation of rules for a privacy program, which is what he said the researchers had violated.

Laura Edelson, one of the researchers, denied any wrongdoing, Wired said.

The FTC posted a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that it was “inaccurate” that the company’s actions were required under the 2019 consent decree.

“While I appreciate that Facebook has now corrected the record, I am disappointed by how your company has conducted itself in this matter,” wrote Sam Levine, the FTC’s acting director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“The FTC received no notice that Facebook would be publicly invoking our consent decree to justify terminating academic research earlier this week.”

Facebook paid a record-setting $5 billion (roughly Rs. 37,100 crores) fine to resolve the FTC probe into its privacy practices and boosted safeguards on user data.

“While it is not our role to resolve individual disputes between Facebook and third parties, we hope that the company is not invoking privacy – much less the FTC consent order – as a pretext to advance other aims,” he wrote.

Separately, the FTC sued Facebook in December for allegedly violating antitrust law. That complaint was dismissed and the agency has an August 19 deadline to refile it.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Oppo A57 (2022) Price in India, June 21 Launch Date Tipped
ISRO’s GSAT-24 Successfully Launched On-Board Ariane-v VA257 Flight From French Guiana
Activision Blizzard Shareholders Vote in Favour of Report on Employee Abuse, Discrimination
Android Auto for Mobile Screens App Being Pulled Down; Replaced by Google Assistant Driving Mode: Report
HP Omen 16 (2022), Omen 17 (2022), Victus 15 (2022), Victus 16 (2022) Gaming Laptops Launched in India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.