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FTC Asks Nine Firms About Data Collection on Social Media, Video Streaming Platforms

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered nine providers of social networking and video streaming services to submit information about personal data gathering, utilization and presentation methods to the agency.

Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snap, Reddit and TikTok operator ByteDance must respond to the inquiry within a 45-day period, FTC said Monday.

Under the FTC Act 6(b) orders, the agency wants to know how these companies collect demographic and personal information from social media users and asked the providers about user engagement and advertising practices across their sites.

The commission also seeks to determine whether social network operators leverage data analytics or algorithms when extracting personal data, as well as how the platforms affect younger users.

Commissioners approved the issuance of the inquiry orders via a 4-1 vote. The law provides FTC authority to conduct research for non-law enforcement purposes.