Facebook Gave Personal Data to Third Parties Without Consent in Violation of FTC Consent Order

A New York Times investigation revealed that Facebook had deals with companies giving them access to personal data without meaningful user consent. These companies include Amazon, Sony, Microsoft, Yahoo, Spotify, and Netflix, as well as two companies considered security threats to the U.S.: Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei and Russian search engine Yandex. The deals Facebook made gave companies broad access to user data, including the the ability to read users’ private messages and access friend lists. EPIC and several consumer privacy organizations helped establish the 2011 consent order against Facebook, following a public campaign, and extensive complaints in 2009 and 2010. In March 2018, the FTC said it would reopen the Facebook investigation, but there is still no report, no findings and no fine. In response to EPIC's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the FTC has released agency emails about the 2011 Facebook Consent Order. Several related EPIC complaints regarding Facebook are also pending at the FTC, including facial recognition.

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