Facebook implicated of stopping working to comply in California personal privacy probe

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Facebook is being examined by California for declared personal privacy accidents. 


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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated Wednesday that Facebook has actually stopped working to comply in a state examination into the social media’s personal privacy and service practices, triggering his workplace to take legal action versus the business.

The relocation shows how stress in between the federal government and the world’s biggest social media have actually been warming up in the middle of allegations that it’s stopped working to safeguard the personal privacy of its almost 2.5 billion users. It’s likewise the very first time Becerra has actually openly acknowledged the state is examining Facebook. 

Becerra stated in an interview that considering that spring 2018 the state has actually been checking out accusations that Facebook broke California law and whether the business tricked users and misrepresented its personal privacy practices. 

The probe began after discoveries emerged that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica collected the Facebook information of as much as 87 million users without their authorization. 

“Those are serious allegations. When you consider the personal information that we all supply to Facebook, every single day,” Becerra stated throughout journalism conference. “Facebook knows some of the most intimate details of our lives.”


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In a petition filed in the San Francisco Superior Court, the attorney general alleges that Facebook refused to comply with a subpoena and requests for documents including correspondence such as e-mails and text messages involving Facebook executives. 

Over 18 months, the state has asked the company to hand over dozens of documents but Facebook didn’t provide answers to the inquiry or refused to produce the materials, according to the court filing.

The company took roughly a year to search for and hand over documents after the attorney general served Facebook with a subpoena in June 2018. This year, the AG served Facebook with a second subpoena, requesting more documents and information, but the state hasn’t been satisfied with the company’s response. 

The petition reveals what information the AG is trying to get from Facebook. The state is trying to find out, among other things, the number of people who use Facebook in California and how often they activate their privacy settings, what third parties had access to user data and how the company enforces its developer policies. It’s also trying to find out if Facebook executives have talked about auditing developer access to Facebook user data, the ties between ad spending and data access, privacy-related news stories and new privacy features. 

Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

California isn’t the only state looking into Facebook’s alleged privacy mishaps. In April, the New York attorney general’s office said it was investigating the social network for harvesting the email contacts of about 1.5 million users without their consent. The Massachusetts attorney general is also investigating Facebook. 

In July, the Federal Trade Commission slapped Facebook with a record-breaking $5 billion fine for its alleged privacy mishaps. 

Originally published Nov. 6, 11:39 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:25 p.m. PT: Includes more information from petition and background

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