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Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Says Data-Sharing Tool Complied With FTC

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Sheryl Sandberg Says Facebook Needs to Do Better Protecting Data

Facebook Inc. said a tool that let people share their friends’ data with developers was in compliance with a 2011 privacy agreement with the Federal Trade Commission.

That’s the feature that allowed a researcher to get information on as many as 87 million people from 270,000 users who downloaded his quiz app. He later transferred the data to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The FTC is investigating whether Facebook violated a 2011 decree that requires the company to get consent from users before sharing information. Investigators also can consider whether Facebook misled users or violated rules governing data shipments between Europe and the U.S.

“I think we’re very confident that that was in compliance with the FTC consent decree,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday in an interview. A spokeswoman later clarified that the data on friends who were not direct users of the app was passed along in adherence with their privacy settings.

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