Monday, October 18, 2021

Federal Trade Commission chief says Facebook is not in compliance with privacy agreement

In a briefing with reporters today, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz spoke on Facebook’s history of deceiving users and sharing private user data without consent. Leibowitz said the FTC’s consumer protection division is investigating whether users have suffered damages from Facebook’s business practices.

Facebook was recently reported to have violated a 2011 consent decree the FTC signed with Facebook. As Gizmodo reported, there were far more breaches than just the controversial May 2015 leak that was initially reported. The FTC found evidence of at least four other times when Facebook subverted its own privacy policies.

In addition to actions against Facebook for deceiving users about the privacy of Facebook accounts, Leibowitz said Facebook is also a violator of a recently negotiated privacy agreement it had with the FTC. In return for delaying a class action lawsuit, Facebook promised to modify its privacy policy.

“They are not in compliance,” Leibowitz said. “They should not have been for more than two years, for the four months. They shouldn’t have been for four months.”

Leibowitz said Facebook faces a court hearing on the matter April 24. He told reporters the negotiations between Facebook and the FTC are continuing as to how the company will comply with its privacy policy and other guidelines.

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