The Federal Trade Commission issued an Opinion finding that the data analytics and consulting company Cambridge Analytica, LLC violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 USC § 45, through its deceptive practices to obtain personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users for voter profiling and targeting. The Opinion also found that Cambridge Analytica engaged in deceptive practices relating to its participation in the EU-US Privacy Shield framework.
In an administrative complaint filed in July, FTC staff alleged that Cambridge Analytica and its then-CEO Alexander Nix and app developer Aleksandr Kogan deceived consumers. Nix and Kogan agreed to settle the FTC’s allegations. Cambridge Analytica, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018, did not respond to the complaint filed by FTC staff, or a motion submitted for summary judgment of the allegations.
The Final Order prohibits Cambridge Analytica from making misrepresentations about the extent to which it protects the privacy and confidentiality of personal information, as well as its participation in the EU-US Privacy Shield framework and other similar regulatory or standard-setting organizations. In addition, the company is required to continue to apply Privacy Shield protections to personal information it collected while participating in the program (or to provide other protections authorized by law), or return or delete the information. It also must delete the personal information that it collected through the GSRApp.