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Facebook Back on the Defensive, Now Over Data Deals With Device Makers

Facebook Back on the Defensive, Now Over Data Deals With Device Makers

But some American lawmakers criticized Facebook’s rationale and urged the F.T.C. to review whether the partnerships violated Facebook’s promises to the regulator.

“I think this explanation is completely inadequate and potentially disingenuous,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat and ranking member of the Senate subcommittee charged with consumer protection. “I think Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony raises very serious and severe questions about Facebook’s credibility.”

David Cicilline of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the House antitrust subcommittee, responded even more harshly.

“Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress about whether users have ‘complete control’ over who sees our data on Facebook,” Mr. Cicilline wrote on Twitter.

Senior Republicans also said the partnerships merited further review.

Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, said in a statement that The Times’s reporting “raises important questions about transparency and potential privacy risks for Facebook users.” Mr. Thune said the Senate Commerce Committee, of which he is chairman, would seek more information from Facebook.

The F.T.C. is already investigating whether the access to friends’ data that Facebook allowed until 2015 violated the terms of its earlier consent decree with the regulator. Rohit Chopra, a current F.T.C. commissioner, declined to comment on any specific company or investigation, but said he believed that the commission would act to enforce any agreements it had with companies.

“Too often, sensitive consumer data gets shared and copied over and over again to a point of no return,” Mr. Chopra said. “F.T.C. orders are not suggestions. When companies violate them, there can be serious consequences.”

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