Date
19 October 2017
Facebook is being probed over a psychological experiment conducted on its users. Photo: Bloomberg
Facebook is being probed over a psychological experiment conducted on its users. Photo: Bloomberg

Facebook under scrutiny in UK over psychological experiment

A UK regulator is investigating whether Facebook broke data protection laws when it allowed researchers to conduct a psychological experiment on users of the social network, Financial Times reported.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is probing the experiment and plans to question Facebook, it said.

A spokesperson for the ICO was quoted as saying that it is too early to tell exactly what part of the law Facebook may have infringed.

The regulator looks at how much personal data are used and whether users have given their consent. It has the power to force organizations to change their policies and levy fines of up to £500,000 (US$857,000), the report noted.

A week-long study in 2012 of more than 689,000 Facebook users found that if they were shown fewer positive stories in their news feed, they were more likely to post negative updates, and vice versa.

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