Business use of facebook data examined


400-FACEBOOK-MAGNIFYING-GLAHistoric City News is following with interest the outcome of federal regulators who are examining a practice used by debt collectors to track down people on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites and its implications for other industries; including law enforcement, private investigation and news reporting.

Bloomberg News is reporting a review being undertaken by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission; who enforces consumer protection laws involving certain business activities.

“Regulators are looking at collection practices for the first time since being given new powers by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act,” the report revealed. “The FTC received about 180,000 consumer complaints over collection practices in 2011.”

One witness claimed debt collectors went too far when she said they used information she posted to her facebook to attempt to contact her at home, at work, through her daughter at college, and through the messaging feature on her facebook page.

“It’s not like they needed to go on facebook to find me, I was in contact with them all the time,” the witness, who is being represented by Morgan & Morgan of Tampa, reportedly said. “That crossed the line.”

Claims were also alleged that debt collectors have posted rude messages on the facebook wall of delinquent debtors and that skip-tracers have masqueraded as someone else so they will be accepted as a Facebook friend.

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