Letitia James, the Attorney General for New York has just announced that she will be leading an anti-trust investigation of Facebook. For those that are unaware, antitrust laws regulate the operational conduct of organizations to prevent any one corporation from establishing a complete monopoly over its respective industry or industries. Facebook has been facing heat from the public as well as regulators over the utilization of user data for personalized advertising.
The Attorney General’s announcement also stated that she would actually be leading a coalition of attorney generals from the states of Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Tennessee, Nebraska, Iowa, Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.
The investigation would primarily focus on determining if Facebook is anti-competitive and if its practices pose a risk of misuse of user data. The issue of misuse of user data over Facebook’s platform came to light following the 2016 United States Presidential election, when the world found out that the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytical influenced voter decision on a large scale through social engineering methods implemented through targeted advertising over Facebook.
The social media giant was already facing an antitrust investigation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A spokesperson for Facebook expressed the need for constant innovation in order to retain continued use from over 2 billion people currently registered to it. Facebook announced its full cooperation with the investigators.