Hunton Andrews Kurth writes:
On December 14, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had issued orders to nine social media and video streaming companies, requesting information on how the companies collect, use and present personal information, their advertising and user engagement practices and how their practices affect children and teens. The orders will assist the FTC in conducting a study of these policies, practices and procedures. The FTC issued the orders pursuant to Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which allows the agency to undertake broad studies separate from its law enforcement activities.
According to a statement by FTC Commissioners Chopra, Slaughter and Wilson, the FTC is concerned with the increased surveillance of individuals and monetization of consumers’ data, and the orders seek to “lift the hood on the social media and video streaming firms to carefully study their engines.” The FTC is particularly interested in learning about how these companies draw inferences about their users, how children and families are targeted and categorized and whether consumers are being subjected to “social engineering experiments.”
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