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Shares in Facebook plunged more than 5 per cent in New York trading after a US consumer protection regulator confirmed that it has launched an open, non-public investigation into the social media giant over privacy concerns.
“The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act,” said Tom Pahl, Acting Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Companies who have settled previous FTC actions must also comply with FTC order provisions imposing privacy and data security requirements.
“Accordingly, the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices.”
The FTC, according to reports, rarely confirms an investigation publicly before it files a complaint, except in cases of significant public interest.