2:48 PM, Mar 26, 2018 — The Federal Trade Commission added to the woes of Facebook (FB) on Monday, saying it would investigate the privacy practices of the social media giant in the wake of complaints about how data collected from profiles has been used.
The FTC said in a statement that it “has an open non-public investigation into these practices” after recent press reports raised “substantial concerns” about Facebook, which saw its stock price tumble again and skid to the lowest intraday since early July.
“The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers,” said Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection.
Facebook has been under pressure in recent days after news reports that a British data science consultancy and marketing agency known as Cambridge Analytica could be in possession of Facebook user data that was improperly obtained by a researcher at Cambridge University.
In an interview with CNN, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized for what he described as “a major breach of trust”, vowing to make sure that it would not happen again.
Earlier on Monday, Facebook said it will prioritize local news for its members in all countries, expanding an update which had already been put in place for US-based users of the social media company earlier this year.
The company said that it is expanding the update, whose objective is for people to see topics that have a direct impact on their community and discover what is happening in their local area, to “people in all countries, in all languages.”
“Now, people around the world will see more news on Facebook from local sources covering their current city and other cities they may care about,” a statement issued by Alex Hardiman, head of news product, and Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships, said on Monday.
“With this update, we’re helping local publishers who cover multiple, nearby cities reach audiences in those cities. We’ll consider a publisher as local to multiple cities if the people in those cities are more likely than the people outside of those cities to read articles from the publisher’s domain,” the statement continued.
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