Social Media, Video Streaming Firms Could Face Probe by US FTC Into Deceptive Advertising

The US FTC's inquiries could lead to enforcement actions, based on the results of the probe.

Social Media, Video Streaming Firms Could Face Probe by US FTC Into Deceptive Advertising

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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to send report on detecting and removing deceptive advertisements

  • Alphabet's YouTube and TikTok will also be probed by US FTC
  • Five business credit reporting agencies will also be probed
  • The name of business credit reporting agencies are yet to be revealed

The US Federal Trade Commission is expected to vote next week on whether to send demands for information about deceptive advertising to eight social media and video streaming companies, the agency said on Thursday.

The agency did not say which social media companies would receive the demands but said that the information would be used to determine what steps they have taken to detect and remove deceptive advertising from their platforms.

Some of the biggest social media companies are Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp. Top video streaming platforms include Alphabet's YouTube and TikTok.

The commissioners will also vote on issuing demands for information to five business credit reporting agencies, which were not named, regarding how they collect data and market their products.

The inquiries could lead to enforcement actions, depending on what it turned up, but are designed to lead to studies that could underpin future legislation or rules.

The votes are set for an open meeting on March 16.

Meanwhile, TikTok recently announced a new data security regime, nicknamed “Project Clover”, amid growing pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The European Parliament, European Commission and the EU Council recently banned TikTok from staff phones due to growing concerns about the company, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, and whether China's government could harvest users' data or advance its interests.

Meanwhile, the White House has backed legislation granting the administration new powers to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose national security threats.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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Further reading: TikTok, Bytedance, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram
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