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Consumer advocacy groups urge FTC to investigate Google, Facebook

Jaclyn Jaeger | June 27, 2018

Several consumer advocacy groups in the United States are urging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate what they say are “misleading and manipulative tactics” by Google and Facebook.

In a letter to the FTC, the eight privacy groups, including Consumer Watchdog and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), said Google and Facebook are steering users to “consent” to privacy-invasive default settings. As the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is implemented across Europe, users of digital services have been asked to consent to new privacy settings through numerous “pop-up” messages.

As illustrated in a report titled “Deceived by Design,” published June 27 by the Norwegian Consumer Council, the pop-up messages used by...

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