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The FTC investigates how social media uses personal data



(Reuters) – The Federal Trade Commission is seeking information from Facebook, Twitter and other social media and video streaming companies about how they use the personal information they collect to their users, the US agency said on Monday.

In addition to Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., the order requesting data was sent to the Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp, Amazon.com Inc., China's ByteDance device TikTok, Discord Inc., Reddit Inc., Snap Inc. and Google's subsidiary YouTube LLC .

The FTC is trying to learn how companies collect data about users, how they decide which ads to show and how algorithms to use, among other things, the agency said in a statement. It also seeks information on how companies' practices affect children and adolescents.

Companies have 45 days to respond to orders, which are usually used to create policy or recommend legislation.

In a joint statement, two Democrats, Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter, and a Republican, Christine Wilson, noted their drive for the order. they wrote. “Social media and video streaming companies now track users everywhere via apps on their ever-present mobile devices. This constant access enables these companies to monitor where users go, the people they interact with and what they do. … Too much if the industry remains dangerously opaque.

Discord said it looked forward to answering FT's questions. "We do not make money from marketing, selling user data to advertisers or sharing users' personal information with others. Instead, the company generates its revenue directly from users via a paid subscription service, a spokesman said in an email.

None of the other companies responded immediately to a request for comment.

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