FTC confirms Facebook data security investigation

The agency is conducting an open non-public probe.

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Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images
Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images

Last week, reports surfaced that the FTC was opening an investigation into Facebook regarding Cambridge Analytica's use of its data. The agency has now confirmed that it is indeed investigating the social media giant. "The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook," the FTC said in a statement. "Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices."

Just over a week ago, a number of reports detailed how Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook profile information on over 50 million Facebook users through a researcher that collected the data with an app. Since then, the company has faced hard inquiries from a number of groups including Congress and the UK Parliament. Shareholders, Facebook users, and states have also filed a handful of class action lawsuits against the company while state attorneys general have opened their own probes as well.

"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. "Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act."

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