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Facebook Sued by Privacy Watchdog for Secret Experiment

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A formal complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission by a privacy watchdog group claiming Facebook broke the law when it performed a study on emotions of users without their consent, according to a report from USA Today.

The complaint was filed on Thursday by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. According to the complaint, Facebook deceived its users by conducting a psychological experiment secretly. The experiment was done to see if people’s emotions are influenced by seeing positive or negative things on their news feeds.

  
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“At the time of the experiment, Facebook did not state in the Data Use Policy that user data would be used for research purposes. Facebook also failed to inform users that their personal information would be shared with researchers,” the complaint says.

A statement, obtained by USA Today, was issued by Facebook:

“When someone signs up for Facebook, we’ve always asked permission to use their information to provide and enhance the services we offer. To suggest we conducted any corporate research without permission is complete fiction,” the statement says. “Companies that want to improve their services use the information their customers provide, whether their privacy policy uses the word ‘research’ or not.”

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Facebook is also being investigated by British authorities for privacy issues.



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