Facebook has been ensnared in a data privacy scandal after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had improperly harvested data on the social network’s users. While Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have since apologized and promised to do more in order to prevent something like this from happening again, the legal and regulatory problems are only just starting. Amid reports that the FTC might step in, it has now confirmed that it’s investigating the matter.
The agency sent out a statement today confirming that it has opened an investigation into Facebook’s data privacy scandal.
“The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook,” it said, adding that it’s now confirming an “open non-public investigation into these practices.” The statement sent Facebook shares down by as much as 5 percent immediately after it hit the news wires.
The scandal came to light about a week ago when it was first reported that Cambridge Analytica had collected Facebook profile information on more than 50 million users through a researcher that developed an app which harvested this data.
Facebook has also taken flak from other quarters as well. The United States Congress is asking questions and so is the United Kingdom’s Parliament. Users aside, even the company’s shareholders have questions about the entire episode.
All eyes will now be on the FTC to see what it concludes after conducting its investigation into the matter.