Washington (January 17, 2019) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the impact of the current government shutdown on the Commission’s investigation into Facebook. In March, 2018, the FTC confirmed that it is investigating Facebook’s privacy practices, and in the wake of repeated privacy invasions at Facebook, both Senators Markey and Blumenthal have voiced concern that Facebook has run afoul of its 2011 consent decree with the FTC.


“While we have repeatedly expressed concerns about the pace of this investigation, we fear that the current government shutdown further threatens the FTC’s ability to complete this investigation,” write the Senators in their letter to all five FTC Commissioners. “Therefore, we strongly encourage the Commission to use every tool at its disposal in its investigation and we write to ensure that the FTC is able to address any detrimental impacts from the shutdown and conduct a fulsome investigation.”


In their letter, the Senators also ask whether the FTC requires additional resources or personnel in order to mitigate any detrimental effects of the shutdown, and what steps consumers should take if their privacy is breached while the FTC is shut down.  


“When Americans’ privacy is breached, they deserve a speedy and effective response,” continue Senators Markey and Blumenthal. “The government shutdown could have profound effects on the FTC’s investigation beyond delays due to staff furloughs.”


A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE.