Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, Others in FTC Privacy Inquiry

James R. Hood
James R. Hood

The Federal Trade Commission is issuing orders to nine social media and video streaming companies, requiring them to provide data on how they collect, use, and present personal information, their advertising and user engagement practices, and how their practices affect children and teens.

The FTC is issuing the orders under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the Commission to conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose. The orders are being sent to

  • Amazon.com, Inc.,
  • ByteDance Ltd., which operates the short video service TikTok,
  • Discord Inc.,
  • Facebook, Inc.,
  • Reddit, Inc.,
  • Snap Inc.,
  • Twitter, Inc.,
  • WhatsApp Inc., and
  • YouTube LLC.

The FTC is seeking information specifically related to:

  • how social media and video streaming services collect, use, track, estimate, or derive personal and demographic information;
  • how they determine which ads and other content are shown to consumers;
  • whether they apply algorithms or data analytics to personal information;
  • how they measure, promote, and research user engagement; and
  • how their practices affect children and teens.

James R. Hood

Jim is a publishing entrepreneur and journalist. He founded ConsumerAffairs in 1998 and earlier was the founder of Zapnews, after holding executive posts at the Associated Press.