The Federal Trade Commission confirmed its investigating Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report data privacy practices in the wake of recent news that user data was improperly shared with a political research organization. The developments -- and Facebook's delayed response to it -- caused the company's stock to plummet almost 15% last week.
On Monday morning, the social network's stock fell as much as 5% following the news, but were recovering slightly and were down about 3% to $154.75 just before noon. The broader markets were up more than 1%, though, as fears of a trade war with China eased.
Here is the full statement from Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection:
"The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act. Companies who have settled previous FTC actions must also comply with FTC order provisions imposing privacy and data security requirements. Accordingly, the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices."
Facebook has been under fire since news came to light that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained and used the data of as many as 50 million users in 2014. Facebook is also being investigated by the European Union as lawmakers call for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before Congress to publicly address the issue.
Last week, Zuckerberg appeared on CNN to address the news, apologizing to users and saying he is willing to testify and open to regulation of the app during his rare on-camera appearance.