Social Media

Next in line seeking answers from Zuckerberg: 37 attorneys general

Russell Gray
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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The National Association of Attorneys General, led by Kansas AG Derek Schmidt, wants Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions related to the social media giant's privacy practices.

A letter from the organization (click here to read it) said the "profoundly concerned" AGs want Zuckerberg to answer a series of questions about how third-party software developers used the data of at least 50 million Facebook profiles. The letter notes that Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) users "never authorized these developers to obtain it, and relied on terms of service and settings that were confusing and perhaps misleading."

Facebook's data practices have been thrust into the news spotlight after reports that a British firm, Cambridge Analytica, got its hands on 50 million Facebook users' information. Cambridge Analytica's work has been connected to Donald Trump's campaign for president.

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Facebook has said the access didn't involve a breach; instead, Facebook itself exposed the data to the software developers — a practice the company clamped down on in 2015.

The letter also alleges that Facebook collected as much as 30 percent "of payments made through the developers' applications by Facebook users."

The AGs also want an update about Facebook's plans to let users "more easily control the privacy of their accounts," the letter states.

The letter joins a chorus of other calls for answers. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection announced that it has "an open non-public investigation into these practices."

And in November, well before the Cambridge Analytica imbroglio, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley took aim at another online giant. He subpoenaed Google Inc. about its practices handling users' information and online activities. Hawley also signed the letter from the National Association of Attorneys General.