FTC Announces Investigation Into Privacy Practices of Major Tech Platforms

The FTC launched a new inquiry into the privacy policies, procedures and practices of several Social Media and Video Streaming Service providers: Amazon, ByteDance, TikTok, Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube. Specifically, the FTC is seeking information relating to how the companies collect, use, track, estimate, or derive personal information and determine which ads to show consumers; whether the companies apply algorithms to personal information; how they measure and promote user engagement; and how their practices affect children and teenagers. In a joint statement, Commissioners Chopra, Slaughter, and Wilson wrote, “Policymakers and the public are in the dark about what social media and video streaming services do to capture and sell users’ data and attention. It is alarming that we still know so little about companies that know so much about us.” In September 2020, EPIC joined 27 groups urging the FTC to study data-driven bias and discrimination in all forthcoming 6(b) investigations.

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