Published: Wed, March 28, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

US FTC investigating Facebook's privacy practices

US FTC investigating Facebook's privacy practices

Company officials said on Sunday that this information is uploaded to secure servers and comes only from people who gave explicit consent to allow it.

The misappropriation of data from 50 million Facebook users to help sway voters during the 2016 election is just the latest reminder of the enormous - and often troubling - power of social media. Accordingly, the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. "If people are anxious about privacy, Facebook is the last thing they should be using", he said.

Shares of Facebook FB fell more than 5 percent Monday after the FTC confirmed it's investigating the company's data practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica breach.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, believes Facebook was in violation of the 2011 settlement in letting Cambridge Analytica harvest data on friends of Facebook users.

Many other users reported unease at the data they discovered being logged, including the contacts of their address books, their calendars, and their friends' birthdays. "We will need to monitor companies such as Facebook much more strictly in future and also punish breaches of data protection strongly, swiftly and painfully".

In fact, it reveals that Facebook has been quietly tracking calls and texts on Android phones for years.

Going by the report shared by Ars Technica, a users who was going through the data Facebook had gathered from him, found that the platform had years of contact names, telephone numbers, call lengths and text messages.

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Data supplied to Reuters by the Israeli firm SimilarWeb, which measures global online audiences, indicated that Facebook usage in major markets and worldwide remained steady over the past week.

Facebook, the world's largest social media network is facing growing government scrutiny in Europe and the United States.

Facebook specified that it does not collect the content of calls or text messages and information is securely stored. Regardless, if you want to make sure Facebook isn't collecting this data, it's a fairly easy process and there's no real good reason to leave those permissions on.

They say the data is used "to improve people's experience across Facebook" by helping to connect with others.

Amid mounting criticism, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week issued a formal apology and a timeline of the events that had happened. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 33, admitted mistakes and promised to do a better job protecting users' data.

"This was a breach of trust, and I'm sorry we didn't do more at the time", Zuckerberg said, reiterating an apology first made last week in U.S. television interviews.

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