FTC Demands Answers from Big Tech on User Privacy, Data Usage

December 15th, 2020 12:09 PM

It’s been a rough few months for Big Tech with antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook, and the confirmation of Big Tech “Bias Hawk” Nathan Simmington as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has demanded answers about Big Tech’s practices and influence.  

The FTC ordered nine Big Tech companies to disclose how they collect and use customer data in an effort to understand how Big Tech impacts consumers’ lives. 

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, Reddit, Snap, Discord, Whatsapp, and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok with ties to the communist Chinese government, all have 45 days from the date they received the order to respond to the FTC’s questions related to the companies’ use of algorithms, data collection, and “how their practices affect children and teens,” according to a press release from the FTC. 

The FTC voted 4-1 to issue the order under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which “authorizes the Commission to conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose,” according to the FTC’s press release.

“Despite their central role in our daily lives, the decisions that prominent online platforms make regarding consumers and consumer data remain shrouded in secrecy. Critical questions about business models, algorithms, and data collection and use have gone unanswered,” said the joint statement of FTC commissioners Rohit Chopra, Rebecca Slaughter, and Christine Wilson. The statement went on to say: “It is alarming that we still know so little about companies that know so much about us.”  

FTC Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, dissented. “The breadth of the inquiry, the tangential relationship of its parts, and the dissimilarity of the recipients combine to render these orders unlikely to produce the kind of information the public needs, and certain to divert scarce Commission resources better directed elsewhere,” he said. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.