AG Hawley Issues Investigative Demands to Facebook

Continuing the fight to protect Missouri consumers from tech giants

Apr 2, 2018, 11:38 AM
Apr 2, 2018, 11:37 AM

Jefferson City, Mo.  – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today announced that his Office has issued an investigative subpoena to social media giant Facebook Inc. in connection with a new investigation into the company’s business practices related to the sharing and tracking of consumers’ user data. Recent news reports reveal that at least 50 million Facebook profiles may be have been shared with third-party software developers. Facebook has nearly 2 billion user profiles around the world.

Last week, 37 state attorneys general, including Missouri, signed a letter requesting answers from Facebook about these issues. With these investigative subpoenas, Attorney General Hawley is going a step beyond asking and is, instead, demanding answers.

“There is no excuse for this irresponsible handling of user data,” Hawley said. “Missourians need to know that they can trust the companies and platforms that have access to as much user information as Facebook does.”

Today’s investigative demand seeks to determine whether or not Facebook exercises the appropriate care with regards to the extensive private consumer data they collect, and whether Facebook accurately discloses to its users how those users’ sensitive data will be used.

“As the chief law enforcement officer in Missouri, I must protect the privacy of internet users,” Hawley said. “As technology develops at a rapid pace, Silicon Valley needs to ensure that the proper protections are in place to guard consumer privacy. If they do not do this, my Office will pursue those responsible.”

Attorney General Hawley is leading the way, holding tech companies accountable for their actions—or inaction. In November, the Attorney General’s Office announced an investigation into Google’s business practices. The Office is also investigating recent data breaches at Equifax and Uber.