New EU and US Consumer Studies Show Facebook, Google, Microsoft Fail Privacy; Eight Consumer Advocacy Groups Call Upon FTC to Investigate

CDD today joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and six other consumer groups in calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the misleading and manipulative tactics of Google and Facebook in steering users to “consent” to privacy-invasive default settings.

In a letter to the FTC, the eight groups complained that the technology companies deceptively nudge users to choose less privacy-friendly options. The complaint was based on the findings in a report, “Deceived by Design,” published today by the Norwegian Consumer Council. It found that Google and Facebook steer consumers into sharing vast amounts of information about themselves, through cunning design, privacy invasive defaults, and “take it or leave it”-choices, according to an analysis of the companies’ privacy updates.

A report by Consumer Report investigating Facebook settings for US users found “that the design and language used in Facebook’s privacy controls nudge people toward sharing the maximum amount of data with the company.”

Read the Norwegian report, “Deceived by Design” here: (link is external)

Read the letter the eight groups sent to the FTC today here: (link is external)

Read the report by Consumer Report here: (link is external)