Facebook submits comments on data portability to US trade panel


Facebook on Friday submitted official comments to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ahead of its September 22 public workshop “to examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers and competition raised by data portability”.

After months of negotiations, Facebook reached an agreement with the FTC in July last year that provides a comprehensive new framework for protecting people’s privacy and the information.

In reaching this settlement, it agreed to pay a $5 billion penalty — multiple times what any previous company has paid the FTC — in order to resolve allegations that it violated users’ privacy in the Cambridge Analytica scandal involving 87 million users.

“We are pleased to see the FTC devoting a full workshop to data portability, and we look forward to participating. We believe data portability can give people control and choice, while also fostering innovation,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

Last year, Facebook published a white paper that explores the privacy questions as it builds a new generation of data portability tools.

“Since then, we’ve had conversations with stakeholders around the world to get feedback about what data should be portable and how to ensure that we protect privacy when enabling data transfers,” Facebook said.

In parallel, said the social network, it will continue to develop products that take into account the feedback it has received, like “a portability tool that allows people to transfer their Facebook photos and videos to other services”.

“We encourage the FTC to examine portability in practice… so that companies implementing data portability have the clear rules and certainty necessary to build privacy-protective products that enhance people’s choice and control online,” it added.

Facebook also paid $100 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that alleged that the social network should have had better processes in place to ensure disclosure to investors of data abuse like what occurred with Cambridge Analytica.



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