The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found on Friday (Dec. 6) that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica lied to people about the data it was collecting from Facebook, and that it used it to profile and target voters, according to a report by Reuters.
The FTC also found that the firm lied about how it was participating in the Privacy Shield framework between the EU and the U.S., which is a pact relating to the transfer of personal data across borders.
The order from the FTC disallows Cambridge Analytica from lying about how far it went to protect personal data, and also prohibits it from participating in the Shield framework or any other similar regulatory offices.
However, the amount of weight the findings hold is unclear, as Cambridge Analytica is now defunct.
In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to the FTC to resolve the probe into the matter. There are other separate ongoing investigations into the company regarding antitrust practices.
The original probe was triggered by allegations that Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree with the FTC by sharing personal information of about 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica. The firm was involved with President Donald Trump’s election campaign in 2016.
Last month, Chairman Joe Simons of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said there were multiple ongoing investigations into Big Tech companies like Google, Amazon and Apple regarding their conduct in antitrust and merger issues.
Big Tech companies face probes from many different government agencies, including a group of state attorneys general, the Department of Justice and the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee. Simons said the FTC’s Technology Enforcement Division (TED) was looking retroactively at mergers that were previously approved.
“We can say publicly that they’re investigating Facebook because Facebook disclosed that,” he said. “I also want to say that TED has, in addition to Facebook, multiple other investigations going on into major platforms.”