N.H. Joins 37 States Demanding Facebook Answers on Data Privacy

Mar 26, 2018

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New Hampshire’s Attorney General is joining 37 other states in requesting more information from Facebook about how it handles its users’ data.

Gordon MacDonald signed on to a letter sent on Monday to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It comes in response to reports that data for at least 50 million Facebook accounts may have been misused by third-party companies.

“Facebook apparently contends that this incident of harvesting tens of millions of profiles was not the result of a technical data breach; however, the reports allege that Facebook gave away the personal data of users who never authorized these developers to obtain it, and relied on terms of service and settings that were confusing and perhaps misleading to its users,” write the Attorneys General in the letter.

The letter requests responses to a range of questions about how Facebook manages data, including:

  • Were the terms of service clear and understandable, or buried in boilerplate where few users would even read them?
  • How did Facebook monitor what these [third-party] developers did with all the data that they collected?
  • What type of controls did Facebook have over the data given to developers?
  • Did Facebook have protective safeguards in place, including audits, to ensure developers were not misusing the Facebook user’s data?
  • How many users in our respective states were impacted?

The Attorneys General conclude that they expect a “full accounting” of what has transpired, as well as prompt answers to the questions.