Commentary – How the FTC Could Have Prevented the Facebook Mess

Techonomy Exclusive – Marc Rotenberg: “Here comes an understatement: Facebook’s failure to protect user data was well known before the company suspended dealings with Cambridge Analytica last week. What is not well known is that the transfer of 50 million user records to the controversial data mining and political consulting firm could have been avoided if the Federal Trade Commission had done its job. The FTC issued a 2011 consent order against Facebook to protect the privacy of user data. If it had been enforced, there would be no story. Facebook bears responsibility too, because it actively worked to avoid compliance.  Perhaps if the government and company had done their jobs, we would have seen a different outcome in the 2016 election. Back in 2009, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which I head, and a coalition of consumer organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It alleged that Facebook was overriding user…

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