FTC is investigating Facebook over privacy practices

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Facebook Inc has adjusted privacy settings to give users more control over their information in a few taps, it said on Wednesday, after an outcry over a whistleblower's allegations that members' data was used to sway the 2016 USA election.

Finally, expect some changes to Facebook's terms of service and data policy in the near future.

Facebook is under intense scrutiny about how it handles users' information. Following news that millions of users' personal data had been collected without permission by a third party, the social media giant caught some flak for the way it handled metadata collection on Android.

First and foremost, Facebook will make your data settings and tools easier to find.

The new features follow fierce criticism after it was revealed millions of Facebook users' personal data was harvested by a British firm linked to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign - although Facebook said the changes have been "in the works for some time".


Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the USA probe would include whether the company engaged in "unfair acts" that cause "substantial injury" to consumers. Facebook, as you might expect, doesn't actually cover that in today's announcement, so if you're wondering if Facebook holds onto your information even after you've deleted it, it's probably safe to assume it does. The cost of using the data was included in the prices advertisers pay to Facebook to run their spots on the site.

At the bottom of the screen, tap "download a copy of your Facebook data", and then click "download archive".

The ministry has asked social media major to submit a reply whether the company or its related or downstream agencies utilising Facebook's data have previously been engaged by any entities "to manipulate the Indian electoral process".

The US Federal Trade Commission this week said it had launched a probe into whether Facebook violated consumer protection laws or a 2011 court-approved agreement on protecting private user data.

The Cambridge Analytica affair has plunged Facebook into one of its worst crises of confidence in years. Facebook is no longer among the top five most valuable companies in the world.


Facebook has apologised for the misappropriation of data and vowed to fix the problem.

Alessandro Acquisti, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist who also co-authored the privacy study, said that Facebook's controls had gotten more and more complex over the years in response to a series of privacy scandals.

In a statement, Facebook's vice-president for state and local public policy, Will Castleberry, said the attorneys general "have raised important questions and we appreciate their interest".

"We've created a monster", said Juli Hinds, Ph.D., Medaille College communications and sports management assistant professor.

Rumours were rife that a smart speaker from Facebook could be shown off at the company's F8 conference on 1 May, but a new Bloomberg report has put paid to that.


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