A probe by the Federal Trade Commission is the latest bad news to slam Facebook, after the agency announced Monday it was launching a nonpublic investigation into the social media giant’s privacy practices.
“The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers,” Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook.”
Facebook has been on its heels since the Cambridge Analytica revelations became public, with outcry growing and legislators calling for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on Capitol Hill.
The FTC news sent Facebook’s stock price lower, adding to a sharp decline that started when a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower came forward to detail how the firm had taken Facebook data and used it to target ads for President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Facebook shares had declined about 2.5 percent in later-afternoon trading.
There is also growing evidence that public opinion on Facebook has shifted. An Axios-commissioned Survey Monkey poll shows that the social network’s favorability has declined since October by 28 points, nearly double that of all the other tech giants. The #deletefacebook hashtag has continued to flourish on social media as customers strike out against Facebook, with tech billionaire Elon Musk bringing further visibility to the movement last week when he deleted the Facebook page for two of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX.