Ever since Cambridge Analytica’s revelations became public, Facebook has been on its heels. The breach of privacy outcry is growing and legislators calling for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Capitol Hill.
Federal Trade Commission has also initiated a probe into the social media giant’s privacy practices.
“The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers,” Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement on Monday. “The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook.”
Facebook has been on its heels since the Cambridge Analytica revelations became public, with outcry growing and legislators calling for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Capitol Hill.
The breach of privacy row has sent Facebook’s stock price lower. A sharp decline started after a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower came forward to reveal how the firm had taken Facebook data and used it to target ads for President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Evidently, public opinion on Facebook has shifted. An Axios-commissioned Survey Monkey poll reveals that the social network’s favorability has declined since October by 28 points, which is double that of all the other tech giants. The #deletefacebook hashtag has continued to flourish on social media as customers began striking out Facebook. Just last week, tech billionaire Elon Musk deleted the Facebook page for two of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, thus bringing out further visibility to the movement.
However, it’s unclear as to how many other users are actually taking the plunge and detaching themselves from the world’s largest social media platform— which for some users forms the majority of their online experience.
It’s also alleged that automated bot networks were engaging in augmenting the hashtag.
Illinois on Sunday became the first state to file a lawsuit against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, alleging a “fraudulent scheme to harvest the data of millions of American voters.”
“This kind of mass data collection was not only allowed but encouraged by Facebook, which sought to keep developers building on its platform and provide companies with all the tools they need to influence and manipulate user behaviour,” the lawsuit said. “That’s because Facebook is not a social media company; it is the largest data mining operation in existence.”
Facebook has also confirmed that it has been keeping texting and call logs for millions of people who use Android phones to access Facebook Messenger. This revelation further increased the backlash over how the company handles the user data that drives its record-setting profits.