FTC asks Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, and others to share how they track and use personal data

Amazon logo on a wall
Amazon logo on a wall (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The FTC has ordered nine tech companies to provide information about their data practices.
  • The orders are being sent to Amazon, ByteDance, Discord, Facebook, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp, Reddit, and YouTube.
  • The companies will have to respond to the FTC within 45 days of receiving the order.

The Federal Trade Commission has sent orders to nine popular tech companies, requiring them to provide information on how they collect, use, and present data from their users. The orders have been issued under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the agency to "conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose."

The FTC wants to know how the companies determine which ads are shown to consumers and whether they apply algorithms or data analytics to personal information. It is also seeking information related to how their practices affect children and teenagers.

The nine companies that have been ordered to share information about their data practices by the FTC include Amazon, Facebook, WhatsApp, Reddit, Twitter, Snap, YouTube, and TikTok parent company ByteDance. As per a press release by the agency, the companies will have 45 days to respond to the order.

When asked for comment, a Twitter spokesperson told CNBC:

We're working, as we always do, to ensure the FTC has the information it needs to understand how Twitter operates its services.

A Discord spokesperson said in a statement:

Discord takes user privacy very seriously and we look forward to working with the FTC to answer their questions about our privacy practices. Importantly, there are no ads on Discord. We make no money from advertising, selling user data to advertisers, or sharing users' personal information with others. Instead, the company generates its revenue directly from users through a paid subscription service called Nitro.

The Federal Trade Commission's new move comes just a week after it filed a lawsuit against Facebook over anticompetitive behavior. The agency plans to seek a permanent injunction that could force Facebook to divest Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook facing antitrust investigation surrounding Oculus headsets and Facebook accounts

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Babu Mohan
News Writer
  • And ask Amazon how they paid ZERO taxes last year and actually got a Refund. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right.
  • Have to understand, no one pays federal taxes if they can help it and as long as it is legal it is legal. If AOC, the biggest blabberer of this story wants to change it, get together with all in the house and pass new tax laws. However, she talks a lot but has DONE NOTHING to try and change the tax laws. Heck, I only paid 300 bucks last year in Federal taxes, based on an income of well over 75K or retirement funds. And guess what, it was totally legal. I paid close to 4000 in property taxes on a home in one of the lowest property taxed states in the lower 48. BUT IT WAS ALL LEGAL.
    However, in 2019, Amazon did pay over 1.2 billion in other taxes plus property taxes throughout the states they operate in. And their employees from top down to the lowest janitor, all paid taxes (hopefully).
  • I'm sure they are all selling anything and everything about you they can get. Amazon is sort of a needed item where I live; however, the other social decease sites are never visited by this guy....NEVER!