The Federal Trade Commission is asking social media companies to provide information on their policies related to the data collection and usage of a user’s personal data.
What Happened: The federal authority sent an order to nine technology companies seeking information on data collection practices on Monday.
Amazon Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), TikTok-owner ByteDance Ltd, Discord Inc, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and its messaging platform WhatsApp Inc, Reddit Inc, Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP), Twitter Inc (NASDAQ: TWTR), and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube LLC were the 9 companies that received the FTC order.
The federal agency’s commission approved the course of action with a 4-1 majority vote. The tech companies have to respond within 45 days from the receipt of the order.
The FTC said it planned to look into the handling of personal and geographical data, how ads and content are shown to users, whether data analytics or algorithms are used on personal information, and details into how the companies measure, promote, and research user engagement.
The federal agency is also interested in learning how the practices of social media companies impact children and teenagers.
Why Does It Matter: “One key aspect of the inquiry is ascertaining the full scale and scope of social media and video streaming companies’ data collection,” three of the FTC commissioners said in a joint statement.
“The FTC wants to know how many users these companies have, how active the users are, what the companies know about them, how they got that information, and what steps the companies take to continue to engage users.”
Big tech companies are under the FTC scanner over their operational practices and how the sheer size of these companies creates monopolistic tendencies and cuts down the competition in the market.
Last week, FTC and 46 U.S. states filed antitrust charges against Facebook related to the acquisition of smaller social networking services like WhatsApp and Instagram in their initial phases.
Price Action: On Monday, TWTR quoted $52.02, 1.13% higher, GOOGL was $1,752.26, 1.27% lower while GOOG close at $1,760.06, 1.22% lower. SNAP dropped 3.24% to close at $51.60, whereas FB quoted $274.19 with a 0.23% gain and AMZN at $3,156.97, 1.30% higher.
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