F*@# Facebook: It’s Time For Action
Another Facebook scandal?!
That’s right. The social-media giant has found its way into the spotlight once again: A New York Times investigation1 reveals that the company has given Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Yahoo and others unprecedented access to user data in what appears to be a violation of a consent decree Facebook reached with the Federal Trade Commission over previous privacy violations.
It’s past time for the government to hold Facebook accountable to its users and to the public. The FTC needs to enforce its agreements and stop sitting on its hands. The very consent decree the agency reached with Facebook contemplates fines of thousands of dollars per violation. This means that Facebook, one of the highest-valued companies on Earth, could be liable for billions of dollars in damages for violating that agreement.
Facebook has long claimed that the company doesn’t sell user data, but the Times investigation reveals it’s instead doing the next best (worst?) thing: entering into partnerships with more than 150 companies and giving them unprecedented access to our personal information and data. All of this, of course, is happening without our permission.
We’ve had enough. The public must demand more of our enforcement agencies, and we must demand more of companies that gather detailed information about our lives. The FTC should aggressively seek punitive damages against Facebook and put a stop to its deceptive behavior.
1. "As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Companies," The New York Times
, Dec. 18, 2018: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/technology/facebook-privacy.html