AG Kilmartin joins effort to learn more about Facebook’s privacy policies


We share photos on Facebook. We like friends’ posts. With every click, we may be giving away mounds of personal data.

“It impacts our consumers daily,” R.I. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said. “People go on Facebook because they want to interact with each other. They don’t want that data used in a political campaign. They don’t want that data used improperly for marketing.”

Kilmartin is among 37 attorneys general who sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, demanding answers about the social network’s privacy policies. The letter follows allegations that Facebook gave the personal data of tens of millions of users to Trump-affiliated political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica.

“I believe it’s incumbent upon Facebook and other providers of social media to have safe and secure privacy practices in place and to disclose to the consumer what those policies are,” Kilmartin said. “Not in 40 pages of little fine print, but clear, concise language to say we are going to use your data for this, do you approve?”

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed it is investigating Facebook’s privacy practices. On Tuesday, Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who exposed the issue testified in front of British lawmakers.

Zuckerberg has apologized, and said the company is making several changes to prevent bad actors from accessing its users’ personal information.

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DYSOM 7/16/2021: Karl Wadensten

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