Child Advocacy Group To File Complaint With FTC Over Facebook Privacy Concerns

Eric Lieberman | Associate Editor

Common Sense Media, a child advocacy group, is urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Facebook for its data-sharing agreements, according to a report published Monday by USA Today.

The organization is reportedly filing an official complaint with the agency, requesting that officials look into how Facebook specifically handled teenage users’ data, like online traits and tendencies.

Facebook, in a New York Times report earlier in June, was accused of giving access to other companies like Blackberry, Amazon, South Korea–based Samsung and Apple. Just days later, those allegations expanded, as TheNYT reported that Facebook also had data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, one of which has a submissive relationship to its country’s fairly authoritarian government.

“That this sharing was not disclosed during multiple Congressional hearings, but rather unearthed by reporters, underscores how much of what Facebook does continues to be extremely opaque,” Common Sense CEO James Steyer wrote in the letter to the FTC, according to the USA Today.

Facebook has been hit with numerous accusations of impropriety in recent months, leading many to believe it’s a giant corporation with a lack of care over how its users’ information is utilized, even exploited. But receiving criticism from a child advocacy group adds another layer of deep-seated ire, as the younger demographic and its privacy is naturally a higher source of concern for the public.

“The sharing of information with device makers is yet another reason why the Commission should pay special attention to how Facebook’s mishandling of user information impacted teens, with respect to Cambridge Analytica, Huawei and a growing number of third parties,” Steyer reportedly continued, referencing the aforementioned troublesome Chinese firm and another foreign company. (RELATED: Facebook Promises To Roll Back Relationships With Third-Party Data Brokers)

We remain strongly committed to protecting people’s information,” a Facebook spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We are committed to making the significant investments necessary to keep people safe on our platform.”

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