Facebook has a history of shoddy privacy and data practices, courting controversy and scandal. The company's latest antirust problem regards how the company handles personal data.
New York Attorney General Letitia James launched the antitrust investigation against Facebook today. It is a multi-state effort to further apply regulatory pressure on the social network. Facebook is arguably the easiest (and most obvious) target of a clamp down on data management amongst major tech companies.
Federal and state governments are now placing more scrutiny on companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
As for this new investigation, it will focus on how the social network handles user data and influences consumer choice.
“Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers. I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk,” James said.
“We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook's actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, or increased the price of advertising.”
James has been joined by other attorney generals in the investigation. The joint-state effort also incudes Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.
Interestingly, it seems Facebook is just the start. The Washington Post reports and investigation into Google will be announced on Monday and will include more than half the states in the country.
Among the issues Facebook has been involved in in recent years include the Cambridge Analytica scandal which showed Facebook user data was used to influence political elections. The social network was also found to be scraping data from Android users. In another embarrassing twist, Facebook this year admitted its AI is not powerful enough to stop extreme content streaming through its Live feature.
In July, the social network settled with the FTC for $5 billion for its privacy failings.