Another day, another privacy investigation concerning Facebook. The New York attorney general’s office has confirmed that it has launched an investigation against Facebook’s “unauthorized collection of 1.5M of their users’ email contact databases.” The investigation has been announced following recent reports that Facebook had been scraping the contact list of some users who had joined the social network after 2016.


The New York attorney general’s office said in a statement announcing the investigation that “Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumer information while at the same time profiting from mining that data.” It adds that while Facebook claims that 1.5 million contact databases were harvested by the email verification process, “the total number of people whose information was improperly obtained may be hundreds of thousands.”

The world’s largest social network has said that this data collection was unintentional and was due to a verification method which required users to enter their email password. The use of that verification method has already been discontinued by Facebook.

The scraped information was reportedly used by Facebook to improve its ad targeting processes and friends connections but it didn’t reveal to users that their contact lists were being collected. Facebook says that this data collection practice has been ended and that it’s going to delete all of the data collected.

According to the New York Times, this investigation is going to look into how this data was collected and whether it may have impacted more users than Facebook claims.

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