Washington Examiner

Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Google could be forced to give up proprietary algorithms, at the heart of their business, if they abuse privacy to gather user data, a top official at the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The chief technologist at the trade commission, Erie Meyer, said at a privacy conference on Tuesday that tech companies that gather user data illegally could face traditional penalties, such as paying fines and disclosure of data, but also could be forced to give up “algorithms that were juiced by ill-gotten data.”

Meyer said data abuses by Big Tech companies, such as several high-profile incidents in the past few years, don’t happen in a vacuum but rather occur due to incentives to capture more customers and beat out competitors.

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