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Facebook's (FB) Instagram Faces Probe for Data Privacy Issues

Facebook’s FB Instagram is being investigated by Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) over the handling of children’s personal data on the social media platform.

The regulatory body has launched two inquiries on Facebook after it received complaints from individuals that Instagram has made contact information on business accounts publicly visible to anyone accessing the application.

The first inquiry aims at investigating whether Facebook has a legal basis for processing children’s personal data and whether the company deploys adequate protection measures and restrictions on Instagram for children.

The second inquiry looks to establish whether Facebook has adhered to the regulator’s data protection requirements in relation to Instagram’s profile and account settings.

Facebook’s Regulatory Woes Continue

Notably, this is not the first time that Instagram is facing data privacy issues. In 2019, according to a Forbes report, Facebook confirmed that it had discovered a security issue in Instagram, which exposed the account details and phone numbers of the users.

Markedly, at the end of second-quarter 2020, Facebook’s monthly active users (MAUs) were 2.701 billion, up 11.9% year over year, while daily average users (DAU) increased 12.5% year over year to 1.785 billion. Steady user growth across all regions has helped this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock return 29.5% year to date compared with the Zacks Internet-Services industry’s growth of 21%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.

 

As Facebook hosts a huge amount of personal data, it has been under constant scrutiny by privacy groups and federal agencies. In fact, other tech giants like Apple AAPL, Alphabet’s GOOGL Google and Amazon AMZN have also been facing regulatory issues regarding data privacy and competition probes.

 

In the past, Facebook has been surrounded by controversies over its treatment of user data and increasing regulations by legal authorities related to data privacy.

The Cambridge Analytica data fiasco sparked broader concerns about data privacy and security, which led to increased scrutiny of data security and a relatively heavy regulatory pressure from all corners on Facebook.

As per The Washington post, the company has aggressively invested and hired privacy experts and every new product the company builds now goes through a comprehensive privacy review.

Markedly, Facebook announced new privacy and security features related to Messenger. The App Lock feature lets users add another layer of security to their private messages and helps prevent other people from accessing them.  

The company has also taken measures to control the spread of electoral misinformation about the upcoming U.S. elections. Markedly, in August, Facebook banned misleading manipulated media, including edited images and deep fakes on the social network.

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