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FTC opens inquiry into Facebook's proposed data use changes

FTC opens inquiry into Facebook's proposed data use changes

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Two weeks ago, Facebook announced a new battery of changes to its data use policy and statement of rights and responsibilities, apparently giving the company some more leeway in how it uses personal data for advertisements. The changes aren’t going unnoticed by government; the New York Times reports that the FTC has opened an inquiry to determine whether the proposed changes violate the terms of a 2011 settlement requiring Facebook to get users’ approval before it changes how their data is shared.

An FTC spokesperson told the Times that "Facebook never sought out a discussion with us beforehand … We’re monitoring compliance with the order. Part of that involves interacting with Facebook."

Facebook originally proposed the changes on August 29th, but negative reactions from users and a formal FTC complaint have caused it to postpone plans to implement them by September 5th. For its part, the company insists that the proposals don’t include any substantive changes to how it deals with user data, and only clarify practices that are already in place. "We take these issues very seriously and are confident that our policies are fully compliant with our agreement with the F.T.C.," it said in a statement.