Facebook's Emotion Study May Have Broken UK Data Protection Laws

By Gerald Lynch on at

The recently revealed Facebook emotion study may not have just been creepy, unethical and downright mean. In the UK it may have also been illegal.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is now looking to question the social network over fears it may have broken UK data protection laws. Facebook's "research" manipulated the news feeds of 689,000 Facebook users over the course of a week in 2012, pushing exclusively-negative posts to select users in an attempt to find whether or not Facebook could influence a person's mood. However, the covert nature of the study has come under fire, leading Facebook's Adam Kramer (co-author of the study's report) to apologise for not "clearly stating our motivations in the paper". [BBC]