Recent news stories about Facebook’s sharing of consumer information with the data broker Cambridge Analytica raise a question: Is Facebook in violation of a 2011 privacy order with the Federal Trade Commission?
We join leading consumer and privacy groups in a letter to the FTC. Excerpt from the letter:
“As the Facebook Order makes clear, Facebook must “get consumers’ approval before it changes the way it shares their data,” and must “obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences.” The FTC also barred Facebook from “making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information.”
Yet Facebook’s business practices resulted in the disclosure of consumers’ “names, education, work histories, birthdays, likes, locations, photos, relationship statuses, and religious and political affiliations” to Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge or consent. In 2014, Facebook acknowledged that it allowed app developers to access profile information on an app users’ friends without the friends’ knowledge or consent, stating that consumers “are often surprised when a friend shares their information with an app.” Facebook’s admission that it disclosed data to third parties without users’ consent suggests a clear violation of the 2011 Facebook Order.”