New York's Attorney General is investigating Facebook for harvesting 1.5 million users' email data without their consent

Business Insider | 4/11/2018 | Rob Price
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The New York Attorney General's office is investigating Facebook for harvesting 1.5 million users' email contact data without their consent.

Business Insider revealed the practice earlier this month, which Facebook says was unintentional.

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The New York attorney general's office is launching an investigation into Facebook for harvesting 1.5 million users' email contact data without their consent, after the practice was revealed by Business Insider last week.

On Thursday, Attorney General Letita James said she and her office would look into how Facebook has handled users' personal data. The existence of the investigation was first reported by The New York Times.

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"We're in touch with the New York State attorney general's office and are responding to their questions on this matter," a spokesperson for Facebook told Business Insider.

Earlier in April, Business Insider reported that after asking some users for their email account passwords when they signed up for the social network, it would then access their email accounts without permission and scoop up users' contact books, using the data for ad-targeting purposes and to build out its web of social connections.

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This took place from May 2016 onwards, and 1.5 million users were affected. Facebook says it was an accident, and that it previously notified users it would access their contact data — but that a change to its systems inadvertently removed this warning while leaving the underlying functionality intact.

In a statement, the New York Attorney General said:

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"It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers' personal information. Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers' information while...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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