New York attorney general’s office is investigating Facebook for harvesting the email contacts of about 1.5 million users without their consent.
“Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’ information while at the same time profiting from mining that data.” – New York Attorney General Letitia James The social network confirmed in April that it collected the email contacts of its users, but said it wasn’t on purpose.
The attorney general’s office said in a press release that hundreds of millions of Facebook users could have been affected because users might have hundreds of email contacts stored. The attorney general’s investigation comes as other regulators and lawmakers are cracking down on Facebook for its privacy practices e.g. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is investigating whether Facebook safeguarded its users’ passwords properly, which could show violations of GDPR. In December, the DC attorney general sued Facebook for allegedly failing to safeguard the data of its users and Canadian regulators have accused Facebook of violating local laws for mishandling user data and said they could take the company to court for its privacy mishaps.
The privacy commissioner of Canada and the information and privacy commissioner for British Columbia started investigating Facebook last year after revelations surfaced that a UK political consultancy Cambridge Analyticaharvested data from about 87 million users without their permission.