Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined the bipartisan investigation looking into the troubling habits of social media giant, Facebook, from not protecting consumer data to their practices meant to uphold their monopoly.
Florida is one of six states currently investigating Facebook for potential antitrust violations.
This probe is occurring after companies like Facebook and Google have been met with increased scrutiny in recent years. The probes have resulted in the U.S. government fining Facebook $5 billion.
Students today have grown up online and therefore are much less troubled that our information is out there to be traded by various parties.
In fact, according to a study by Viber in 2018, only about one-third of Viber users were concerned that their data was being shared with advertisers.
The actions of attorney generals around the country are an excellent step in the right direction if the goal is to protect the private information of citizens.
Beyond information gathering, there are also incredibly troubling aspects of social media in the way in which it facilitates conversations between users.
How do we ensure that we keep false information off these platforms while at the same time uphold principles of free speech?
The way in which Facebook was able to absorb the cost that was levied on them from Congress shows that companies like Facebook are not likely to make decisions for the common good.
We should be concerned that our private information is repeatedly stolen and that there is little to be done to protect users. We should also be concerned that those same corporations have no incentive to ensure that we have productive conversations online.
This investigation into Facebook is an important first step toward actually holding these platforms accountable. With any luck, the attorney generals will conclude that further oversight is necessary in order to protect American citizens.
Jared Sellick is a junior majoring in political science.