Beshear, AGs Expecting ‘Full Cooperation’ from Facebook on Reported Misuse of Users’ Personal Data

Andy Beshear

Attorney General Andy Beshear is joining a group of AGs requesting information from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on an alleged privacy breach of the social network.

A letter to Zuckerberg details how Beshear and the group of AGs are “profoundly concerned” over recent published reports that Facebook users’ personal information was provided without permission to a third party. According to the letter, at least 50 million Facebook profiles may have been misused and misappropriated by third-party software developers.

In addition to asking nearly 10 questions of Zuckerberg in the letter, the group seeks full cooperation going forward in their inquiry into Facebook’s practices.

“Any reported data breach is alarming but when you’re talking about Facebook and 50 million Americans, some of them Kentuckians, there must be an effort by my office to hold the company responsible for failing to safeguard personal information,” Beshear said. “Facebook has made promises about users’ privacy in the past, and it’s time we know that users can trust the company.”

Bordering state attorneys general participating in the letter to Facebook are Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

In September, Beshear joined with other attorneys general to send a letter demanding that Equifax take immediate steps to strengthen customer protections and improve services to the nearly 143 million people impacted by its massive data breach.

Earlier this month, Beshear called on Congress to stop federal legislation that would do away with state laws providing safeguards for Kentuckians during many data breaches.

The Data Acquisition and Technology Accountability and Security Act aims to chip away at Kentucky’s consumer protection laws that provide Kentuckians data security protections, Beshear said.

“With the increasing threat and ever-evolving nature of data security risks, Kentucky’s consumer protection laws, which our office enforces, provide vital flexibility and a vehicle to rapidly and effectively respond to protect Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “We cannot allow any federal action to negate our authority.”

Beshear said the proposed federal legislation would severely affect the ability of states to obtain consumer data security protections in settlements with companies.

For instance, Beshear’s office joined multistate settlements in 2016 and 2017 against Target, Adobe and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, requiring those companies to maintain data security protections affecting thousands of Kentuckians.

On Beshear’s website, Kentuckians may review consumer protection tips including what to do if their personal information has been compromised.

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