Senator Markey Urges FTC to Require Additional Privacy Safeguards at Facebook
Calls for company to cease all tracking of Facebook users across websites after users have logged out of their accounts; require Facebook to suspend deployment of facial recognition tools pending completion of the FTC investigation; ensure compliance with the consent decree
Washington (May 4, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commissioners expressing concern that Facebook violated a 2011 consent decree with the Commission. In his letter, Senator Markey urges the Commission to implement a series of new privacy safeguards that Facebook should implement, including requiring Facebook to cease all tracking of users across websites after users have logged out of their Facebook accounts, requiring Facebook to suspend deployment of facial recognition tools pending completion of the FTC investigation, as well as a number of other steps to ensure compliance with the consent decree. Additionally, Senator Markey asks the FTC if Facebook has provided the Commission with all audits required by the consent decree, what steps the Commission is taking to ensure compliance, and when the investigation will be made public.
“Recent reporting regarding the social media platform Facebook points to a disturbing record of failure to protect users’ privacy and misuse of Americans’ personal data, writes Senator Markey in his letter. “These revelations strongly suggest that Facebook violated a 2011 settlement with the FTC.”
The new Facebook privacy safeguards Senator Markey urges the FTC to require include:
- Creating and managing a mechanism that allows the public to review any substantial changes to Facebook’s privacy practices that are subject to the 2011 consent order
- Requiring Facebook to cease all tracking of users across websites after users have logged out of their Facebook accounts
- Prohibiting Facebook from repealing or weakening its current policy prohibiting applications from collecting users' data based on their “friends’” permission
- Requiring Facebook to release publicly and automatically transmit to the FTC any consumer complaints or records that contradict, qualify, or call into question Facebook’s compliance with the consent decree
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to the FTC can be found HERE.
Senator Markey and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) previously queried Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about its role in and response to the troubling collection of personal data from tens of millions of Americans by the firm Cambridge Analytica.