The fallout from the story concerning Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, the misuse of personal data and how much Facebook knew about all this, has quickly made its way into the halls of government. Bloomberg is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission is opening a probe into Facebook and the misuse of personal data, related to a consent decree that was issued in 2011 over the social network’s personal data handling policies. Also today, Damian Collins, a member of parliament who is the chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee in the UK, has issued a request to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to provide oral evidence to the committee. Meanwhile, Mark Warner, the U.S. Senator who is vice chair of the Intelligence Committee, has also requested that Zuckerberg, along with other tech CEOs, testify in order to answer questions about Facebook’s role in “social manipulation” in the 2016 election. The FTC has not yet responded to our requests for comment, and it has not publicly confirmed if it is probing Facebook. The original decree was made as a settlement to an inquiry at the time into how Facebook — then just a startup but growing wildly fast — “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public,” and it arose specifically in relation to how third-party apps were able to use and access this data. This is key because the original survey that users filled out was, in fact, an app of sorts, linking into Facebook by way of its API. The idea behind the FTC settlement in 2011 was to ensure that Facebook made its privacy and data handling policies clear to consumers going forward, and to get their “express consent” before information is shared beyond the privacy settings those users established. Specific details of the 2011 decree included barring Facebook from making misrepresentations about privacy and security of personal information; getting user consent before making change that override privacy preferences; preventing material to be shared after an account was deleted or deactivated; and maintaining a privacy program assessing risks and getting this audited every two years. The decree also notes that it will terminate 20 years from the date of being issued, but that it will renew for another 20 years each time that the FTC files a complaint over any violations…

Source: TechCrunch – Social FTC reportedly eyes probe of Facebook over data violations as UK and US pols summon Zuck to testify