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Facebook, Twitter, and more social media companies are ordered by US regulators to provide data collection details

Federal regulators are ordering Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok’s parent company and five other social media companies to provide detailed information about how they collect and use consumer personal data and how their behavior affects children and young people.

The actions announced by the Federal Trade Commission on Monday entered the core of the technology industry’s lucrative business model: collecting data from platform users and providing it to online advertisers so that they can identify specific target consumers.

The agency plans to use this information for a comprehensive study within 45 days.

The other five companies are Reddit owned by Facebook, Snap, Discord, WhatsApp and Google’s YouTube.

Regulators and legislators are increasingly including concerns about data functionality and privacy in investigations of the dominant market position of big technology companies.

Last week, the FTC and 48 states and territories filed a landmark antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, accusing the company of abusing market power to crush smaller competitors. They also accused the company of damaging consumers’ data privacy. .

Facebook is the largest social network, most of its revenue comes from online advertising, last year revenue reached 70.7 billion US dollars (about 520.6 billion rupees).

According to the new requirements, FTC hopes to understand how social media and video streaming services collect, use and track consumers’ personal and demographic information, how to decide which advertisements and other content to show consumers, and whether to apply algorithms or data to analyze personal information. How do they measure and promote user engagement and how their behavior affects children and young people.

Three of the five members of the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement: “There has never been an industry that can monitor and monetize most of our personal lives.” They said that the planned research “will uncover social media and video. The veil of streaming media companies. Study their engines carefully.”

Twitter said in a statement: “We will continue to work hard to ensure that the FTC has the information needed to understand how Twitter operates its services.”

Congress has increasingly supported a national privacy law that can greatly restrict the largest technology companies’ ability to collect revenue from users’ personal data and profit from it. With the support of the Biden administration, the legislation may shine in the new Congress next year.

The FTC fined Facebook 5 billion U.S. dollars (about 36.8 billion rupees) for alleged violations of privacy last year and imposed new supervision and restrictions on its business. The fine is the highest fine imposed by the agency on a technology company, although it has no obvious impact on Facebook’s business.

Also last year, YouTube was fined US$170 million (about 13 billion rupees) by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), of which US$136 million (about 10 billion rupees), and New York State fined US$34 million (about 2.5 billion rupees). In order to settle allegations of collecting personal data of children without parental consent.

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