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The FTC Is Officially Investigating Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday that it has opened an investigation into Facebook and whether it violated its stated privacy policy.
Image: Brian Solic/Flickr

Though many people predicted this would happen, it’s finally official: The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook for its involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

On Monday, Tom Pahl, the acting director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, released a statement confirming the agency had launched an investigation into whether or not the social media platform violated its state privacy policy.

“The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers,” Pahl said in the statement. “Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises. Accordingly, the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook.”

Earlier this month, the news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, had used the Facebook data of more than 50 million people collected by an academic researcher to micro-target users with campaign advertising. Since this was revealed, many privacy experts have accused Facebook of violating its standards and failing to protect users’ information. As the agency tasked with enforcing consumer privacy and protection laws, the FTC was the most likely to open an investigation from a federal perspective following the news.

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