According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the FTC has launched an investigation into the business practices of large social media and internet companies. The investigation will focus on user privacy violations and data mining practices.
In a joint statement, FTC Commissioners Rohit Chopra, Rebecca Slaughter, and Christine Wilson said that the demand for information is a response to the failure of large internet companies to disclose their internal practices surrounding data mining.
“Social media and video streaming companies now follow users everywhere through apps on their always-present mobile devices. This constant access allows these firms to monitor where users go, the people with whom they interact, and what they are doing. But to what end?” Chopra, Slaughter, and Wilson said in their statement. “Too much about the industry remains dangerously opaque.”
The companies have 45 days to reply to the FTC’s demand for information. Information gathered as a result of the investigation may serve as the basis for future legal action by the government.
In a short statement, a spokesperson for Twitter that it will comply with the FTC’s request for information. “We’re working, as we always do, to ensure the FTC has the information it needs to understand how Twitter operates its services,” the spokesperson said.