Missouri AG Probes Facebook's Privacy Practices

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has joined the roster of officials investigating Facebook's privacy practices.

On Monday, Hawley sent the company a lengthy demand for information, including for data about the type of material the company makes available to third parties. Hawley also is specifically asking for details about Facebook's communications with President Trump's campaign consultancy, Cambridge Analytica.

“As technology develops at a rapid pace, Silicon Valley needs to ensure that the proper protections are in place to guard consumer privacy," Hawley stated.

The Republican official, who currently is running for Senate, also recently launched an investigation of Google's privacy practices.

Hawley isn't the only one investigating Facebook. The Federal Trade Commission is probing whether the company failed to follow the terms of a 2012 consent decree that stemmed from prior accusations of privacy violations. Attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York also have announced probes of the compay. Facebook also has been hit with class-action lawsuits, and with a suit by Cook County.



Hawley's demand for information comes two weeks after reports surfaced that Cambridge Analytica harvested 50 million Facebook users' data. Cambridge Analytica reportedly obtained the information from Aleksandr Kogan, who gleaned the data in 2014 through the personality-quiz app "thisisyourdigitallife," according to reports. Only 270,000 Facebook users downloaded Kogan's app, but he was able to gather data about many of those users' contacts.

Facebook says it knew in 2015 about the data transfers to Cambridge Analytica, but believed that the consultancy destroyed the information.

Hawley also is seeking information from Facebook about the data it garners from Android users. Last week, reports surfaced that Facebook stores call logs and SMS messages of Android users. The company says it only does this if users have explicitly agreed to it.

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