U.S. FTC investigating Facebook's privacy practices

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Monday it is conducting an open investigation of Facebook Inc's privacy practices following the disclosure that 50 million users' data got into the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Reuters and other media outlets reported last week the FTC is reviewing whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent decree it reached with the authority over its privacy practices, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters. If the FTC finds Facebook violated terms of the consent decree, it has the power to fine the company thousands of dollars a day per violation, which could add up to billions of dollars. "The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices, Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Eric Beech Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)