Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

FTC's Facebook Audit Didn't Catch Cambridge Analytica Leaks

FTC's Facebook Audit Didn't Catch Cambridge Analytica Leaks

"After Cambridge Analytica, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), on behalf of Facebook, reported to the FTC that privacy compliances at Facebook were fine and there were no problems", explained EPIC's president Marc Rotenberg. Part of the settlement included a series of audits of the social network's privacy practices.

Facebook has been under scrutiny from lawmakers across the world since disclosing that the personal information of 87 million Facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a Britain-based firm hired by Donald Trump for his 2016 US presidential election campaign. Now, Facebook is reportedly looking to more aggressively defend its interests by adding "privacy and public policy managers, a government outreach manager, associate general counsel positions, and a couple of policy managers to help draft positions on tech and video policy issues", according to Bloomberg.

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"In our opinion, Facebook's privacy controls were operating with sufficient effectiveness to provide reasonable assurance to protect the privacy of covered information and that the controls have so operated throughout the Reporting Period, in all material respects for the two years ended February 11, 2017, based upon the Facebook Privacy Program set forth in Management's Assertion", reads PwC's conclusion.

Misuse of data by Facebook means it will in future be bound by stricter regulations and the threat of tougher penalties for further privacy violations, Barley said after the meeting. It stated that it had conducted assessments "verify [ing] that the technical, physical, and administrative security controls created to protect covered information from unauthorized access ... are functioning properly".

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However, the latest audit and the fact that the FTC failed to detect the Cambridge Analytica data scrape has raised questions about the effectiveness of its oversight.

The FTC has launched an investigation into whether Facebook's actions violated the consent decree.

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