CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a bipartisan group of 38 attorneys general in requesting Facebook executives respond to published reports that personal user information from its website was shared with third parties without the users’ knowledge or consent.
The letter, sent March 26, asks Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg a series of questions about Facebook’s user privacy policies and practices. The attorneys general also requested an update about how Facebook will allow users to more easily control the privacy of their accounts.
“These revelations raise many serious questions concerning Facebook’s policies and practices, and the processes in place to ensure they are followed,” Morrisey joined in writing. “We need to know that users can trust Facebook. With the information we have now, our trust has been broken.”
The letter follows reports that at least 50 million Facebook personal profiles may have been misused. It is alleged that Facebook gave away the personal data of users who never authorized third-party software developers to obtain it, and relied on terms of service and settings that were confusing and perhaps misleading to its users.
State attorneys general are responsible for enforcing consumer protection statutes. This includes protecting their state residents from the loss of personal information through data-harvesting and data breaches.
West Virginia joined the letter with attorneys general from Connecticut, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Alabama, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
The letter was sent in coordination with the National Association of Attorneys General.