Facebook may be subject to investigations by European data protection groups following revelations that it manipulated the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users.
The social media giant admitted altering the news feeds of 689,000 users to show specific emotional expressions, as part of a data research experiment conducted over a week in January 2012. The revelations have generated outrage as Facebook did not inform users it was altering their feeds. The company says users give permission for research when they create a Facebook account.
But despite this claim, European privacy watchdogs are now attempting to determine whether Facebook has broken any privacy laws.
Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, which regulates Facebook’s operations outside of North America, said in a statement: “This office has been in contact with Facebook in relation to the privacy issues, including consent, of this research. We are awaiting a comprehensive response on issues raised.”
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