In a statement, the FTC said it “takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook.” The investigation comes just days after news broke that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
The FTC is investigating whether Facebook violated a consent decree it signed with the governmental agency in 2011. The decree asked Facebook to obtain express consent from consumers before their information is shared beyond privacy settings they have established.
If the FTC finds that Facebook violated the decree, the tech company could be forced to pay $40,000 per violation, according to Bloomberg.
In the wake of the scandal, brands including Mozilla and Pep Boys have halted advertising on Facebook. Wireless speaker maker Sonos is pulling its ads from the platform for one week.