Facebook faces ICO questions over 'social experiment'

Facebook is being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office over its social study on users, to see whether it has broken UK data protection laws.

Facebook: faces questions from the ICO over 'social experiment'
Facebook: faces questions from the ICO over 'social experiment'

According to a report in the FT, the ICO is probing the experiment, but said it is too early to tell whether the social network has potentially broken any laws.

Facebook’s researchers have already apologised for the way the findings of its psychological experiment were presented, saying sorry for "any anxiety caused".

The ICO said it planned to ask Facebook questions following this week's widespread condemnation of its research methodology; while it told the FT that it would also contact Irish data protection regulators because the company’s European headquarters are based in Dublin.

Facebook came under fire after it was widely reported at the weekend that it had carried out a study that involved secretly altering the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users to monitor "emotional contagion".

Facebook undertook the study in partnership with Cornell University and the University of California, and carried out the experiment over a week in 2012.

It required the manipulation of Facebook’s algorithms to present different emotional posts in people’s news feeds.

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Flexible working rules at Dentsu Aegis

Fancy working for a company that cares about your work/life balance and focuses on your performance rather than the time spent at your desk?

The top 10 brands favoured by Remainers and Brexiters
Shares0
Share

1 The top 10 brands favoured by Remainers and Brexiters

Marketers can learn about our divided nation by examining the brands that appeal across the voting referendum voting split, says Emily James, chief strategy officer at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

Just published