FTC’s Probe On Facebook Likely To Focus On Mark Zuckerberg


The privacy troubles of Facebook just keep on coming, one after another. Just recently, it disclosed that Instagram stored millions of passwords in plain text. Reportedly, in an attempt to compel the social network to be much more conscious of its data privacy practices, federal regulators are seeking for ways to make Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of the social media giant, personally accountable for the shortcomings of his company.

According to The Washington Post, the FTC regulators who are investigating Facebook are going over the previous statements of the company chief regarding privacy to figure out if they can utilise them to seek greater oversight of his leadership.

Various federal agencies launched their own investigation into the massive Cambridge Analytica scandal after it was revealed last year. That was the time when one of the employees of the political consulting company revealed that it harvested millions of data from Facebook users without their knowledge and utilised it for political purposes. At the moment, the social network is being investigated by the FBI, the FTC, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While the FTC does not normally hold company executives accountable for the business practices of their firms, both its Democratic members support targeting executives when appropriate. The commission even considered taking aim at Zuckerberg during its most recent settlement with the social network over another issue way back in 2011, even though it ultimately decided not to. If the agency does hold the executive accountable for the privacy problems of his company, it could compel him to periodically certify the privacy practices of Facebook with its board of directors. The FTC could also demand the right to keep a closer eye on the activities of the social network.