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WSJ: Emails May Show Zuckerberg Knew Of Privacy Problems At Facebook

WSJ: Emails May Show Zuckerberg Knew Of Privacy Problems At Facebook

Internal company emails being examined in connection with a Federal Trade Commission investigation into privacy practices at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) may show CEO Mark Zuckerberg knew of questionable privacy practices, according to a Wednesday report from The Wall Street Journal.

Shares of Facebook were down 1.75 percent Wednesday afternoon, trading at $174.97.

What Happened

Facebook and the FTC are already in the process of negotiating a settlement over the FTC's allegations that the social media giant has violated a 2012 consent decree over how it handles users’ privacy interests. As part of that investigation, Facebook has been turning over internal company emails to the government.

Sources have told WSJ some of those emails could show Zuckerberg and other top executives didn’t make following the consent decree’s privacy policy prescriptions a priority.

WSJ reported it hasn’t reviewed the emails -- only that sources have described potentially problematic revelations about Zuckerberg’s knowledge of the company’s potential shortcomings on user privacy. The emails were part of a trove turned over to the FTC by Facebook as part of the probe. 

The FTC investigation on potential violations of the consent decree began more than a year ago after a report that Facebook allowed third party data user Cambridge Analytica to improperly use Facebook user data in its work for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Why It Matters

Facebook is reportedly already negotiating potential terms with the government to settle the latest allegations. The company has already said it expects to pay up to $5 billion as part of the settlement.

“We have fully cooperated with the FTC’s investigation to date and provided tens of thousands of documents, emails and files,” Facebook said in a statement it provided to Wall Street Journal. “We are continuing to work with them and hope to bring this matter to an appropriate resolution.

“Facebook and its executives, including Mark, at all times strive to comply with all applicable law, and at no point did Mark or any other Facebook employee knowingly violate the company’s obligations under the FTC consent order," the company's statement said.

The paper said it couldn’t be determined whether any of the emails reveal practices that violated the 2012 accord.

Zuckerberg announced earlier this year Facebook will make efforts to boost privacy of its users and supports U.S. government efforts to increase data protection.

Related Links

Facebook Is Dealing With Another Privacy Issue: Employees Could See Millions Of User Passwords

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg On Data Privacy: 'My Mistake'

Posted-In: Cambridge Analytica Donald TrumpGovernment News Regulations Top Stories Tech Media Best of Benzinga


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