FTC Seeks Data From Big Tech

Patrick Hayden
By Patrick Hayden
December 16, 2020NTD Evening News

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is giving several tech firms 45 days to answer questions on how they use personal data collected from users. The companies are Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, TikTok, Amazon, Reddit, Twitter, Snapchat, and Discord.

Among other things, the FTC wants to know how their advertising algorithms are used—and how the companies’ practices affect children and teenagers.

FTC commissioners voted four to one to issue the order.

Three of the commissioners issued a joint statement. It says, “Never before has there been an industry capable of surveilling and monetizing so much of our personal lives. Social media and video streaming companies now follow users everywhere through apps on their always-present mobile devices.”

NTD reached out to Facebook and Google for comment but did not receive a response.

A Twitter spokesperson said, “We’re working, as we always do, to ensure the FTC has the information it needs to understand how Twitter operates its services.”

The investigation is the second probe by the FTC in a week into Facebook. Last week the FTC alleged that Facebook holds a monopoly. Forty-eight states and territories also filed a separate complaint. They claim Facebook’s purchase of Whatsapp and Instagram was to eliminate competition. Facebook called the case “revisionist history” because the FTC approved the acquisitions in the first place.

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