by Makena Kelly
Illustration by Alex Castro
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
announced Monday that it is launching a new inquiry into the privacy
practices of some of the largest tech companies and social media
platforms in the world.
In a press release published Monday, the FTC announced that it is
ordering nine social media and video streaming companies,
...to provide data on how
they collect and use personal information provided by their users.
The companies have 45
days to respond...
Each of the nine
companies was contacted for comment.
A Twitter spokesperson
told The Verge,
"We're working, as we
always do, to ensure the FTC has the information it needs to
understand how Twitter operates its services..."
"Discord takes user
privacy very seriously and we look forward to working with the
FTC to answer their questions about our privacy practices."
The FTC's orders were
authorized as part of a wide-ranging investigative inquiry and do
not serve specific law enforcement purposes.
However, the FTC could
pursue enforcement actions should it find wrongful behavior
throughout the study.
In the agency's Monday
orders, the FTC requested that the companies provide information
related to how they collect personal data, how that data determines
which ads and content users are shown, and whether they,
algorithms or data analytics to
The commission voted 4-1
to approve the orders with Commissioner Noah Phillips
dissenting, saying that the probe was too wide-ranging to produce
products may have launched with the simple goal of connecting
people or fostering creativity.
But, in the decades
since, the industry model has shifted from supporting users'
activities to monetizing them," three FTC commissioners who
voted to approve the orders said in a joint statement Monday.
"This transition has
been fueled by the industry's increasing intrusion into our
In February, the
this same investigative authority to request information on past
acquisitions made by big tech companies, including,
Last week, the FTC
sued Facebook to
unwind its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp...