Public Citizen and Other Organizations Ask Facebook to Disclose Information About Research on Young Users

Public Citizen and 25 other U.S. and international groups concerned with consumer rights and electronic privacy have sent a letter to Facebook asking it to release documents about whether it has collected and analyzed psychological information about its youthful users for marketing purposes. The claim that Facebook had engaged in such analysis and hyped it to advertisers was first published by the newspaper The Australian and was reported to be based on a leaked document. A news account not behind a paywall can be found on the website of The Guardian, here.

According to the news articles, the leaked document claimed that Facebook had the ability to analyze the emotions and mental states of young users based on their Facebook usage. Because the collection of such information, and its use for marketing purposes, would raise serious concerns, the groups' letter requests that Facebook release the document that was the basis of the news stories and any related materials–including "any research it has conducted worldwide related to the use of biometric measures to understand how young people respond to its various content and applications."

More information about the letter can be found on Public Citizen's website here.

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