Grace Meng Wants FTC to Investigate Facebook
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) on Tuesday sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons urging his agency to launch an investigation into Facebook’s collection of personal health data from smartphone users. The letter comes in response to an article in The Wall Street Journal that found Facebook has been collecting millions of users’ most sensitive health data -- without the user’s consent, and even if the user has no connection to Facebook. The report says an analytics tool called “App Events” allows app developers to record user activity and report it back to Facebook, even if the user isn’t on Facebook. “This is an egregious violation of privacy, and I demand the FTC open an investigation into Facebook’s data collection practices immediately, and for Facebook to stop these collections,” Meng said. The WSJ report highlights a particularly privacy-violating behavior by health and fitness apps where the information shared can be anything from diet and exercise activities to a user’s ovulation cycle and whether they intend to get pregnant. “Smartphone users must be protected from this encroachment into their personal lives; they must know their personal information is safe,” Meng wrote in the letter. More here.