Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) today urged the Federal Trade Commission to hold Facebook, Inc., Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg “individually liable for the company’s repeated violations of Americans’ privacy” in “any consent order negotiated with Facebook concerning [its] unfair and deceptive practices and its mishandling of users’ data.”
Facebook and the FTC reached an agreement to settle the FTC’s investigation into alleged privacy violations by the company in 2011, and the agreement was finalized in 2012 (TR Daily, Aug. 10, 2012). The settlement agreement required Facebook to strengthen its privacy policies.
In the wake of Facebook’s acknowledgment last spring that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica collected the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their consent as part of a political influence campaign, the FTC announced that it was investigating Facebook’s privacy practices (TR Daily, March 26, 2018).
In a letter to all five FTC commissioners dated today, Sen. Wyden noted that Mr. Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook, holds a majority of the voting rights in the company, and has been “the public face of the company, … repeatedly making promises to Facebook users over privacy and data concerns.”
The senator added, “Internal Facebook documents, released by the British Parliament in 2018 [TR Daily, Dec. 5, 2018], confirm that Mr. Zuckerberg was the ultimate decision-maker regarding Facebook’s data-sharing deals with its preferred corporate partners.”
He continued, “According to media reports, the FTC is now negotiating another consent order with Facebook. Any settlement with Facebook must hold Mr. Zuckerberg individually accountable or his flagrant, repeated violations of Americans’ privacy will continue.” —Lynn Stanton, [email protected]
MainStory: FederalNews Congress FTC Privacy
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