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UK data regulator probes Facebook over psychological experiment

Published on Jul 2, 2014 1:07 PM
 
A file photo of the splash page for the social media website Facebook taken on Jan 30, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP  

LONDON (REUTERS) - The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK is investigating whether Facebook Inc broke data protection laws when it allowed researchers to conduct a psychological experiment on users of the social network, the Financial Times reported.

The data regulator is probing the experiment and plans to ask Facebook questions, the newspaper reported. It was too early to tell exactly what part of the law Facebook may have infringed, the FT quoted a spokesperson for the ICO as saying.

Facebook's psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users in 2012 has caused a social-media furor. The experiment was to find if Facebook could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content.

Representatives for ICO and Facebook did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

 
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