US FTC Says Facebook Misused Privacy Decree To Shut Down Ad Research

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Commerce Fee criticized Fb Inc on Thursday for making “deceptive claims” to elucidate why it had disabled the accounts of researchers finding out political adverts on the social media platform.

Fb mentioned on Tuesday it had reduce off the non-public accounts and entry of the New York College researchers due to issues about different customers’ privateness.

Fb had initially mentioned that the choice was made out of a necessity for the social media large to stay as much as a consent settlement with the Federal Commerce Fee.

However Fb spokesman Joe Osborne later advised Wired that the consent decree was not a cause to disable the researchers’ accounts. As a substitute, the decree required the creation of guidelines for a privateness program, which is what he mentioned the researchers had violated.

Laura Edelson, one of many researchers, denied any wrongdoing, Wired mentioned.

The FTC posted a letter to Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that it was “inaccurate” that the corporate’s actions had been required beneath the 2019 consent decree.

“Whereas I recognize that Fb has now corrected the report, I'm dissatisfied by how your organization has carried out itself on this matter,” wrote Sam Levine, the FTC’s appearing director of the Bureau of Shopper Safety.

“The FTC acquired no discover that Fb can be publicly invoking our consent decree to justify terminating tutorial analysis earlier this week.”

Fb paid a record-setting $5 billion high-quality to resolve the FTC probe into its privateness practices and boosted safeguards on person knowledge.

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