Feds investigating whether Facebook knowingly violated $5 billion privacy settlement: report
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a new firestorm over the social network's handling of Russian misinformation efforts in the 2016 US election season AFP/File / GERARD JULIEN

Facebook is facing scrutiny from federal regulators after public reporting on the company's research into its impact on users.

"Federal Trade Commission staffers have begun looking into disclosures that Facebook Inc.'s FB -3.92% internal company research had identified ill effects from its products, according to people familiar with the matter," the Wall Street Journal reported. "Officials are looking into whether Facebook research documents indicate that it might have violated a 2019 settlement with the agency over privacy concerns, for which the company paid a record $5 billion penalty, one of the people said."

The newspaper reported extensively on the product's impact on users in its Facebook files investigation spurned by whistleblower Frances Haugen.

"I think the FTC should be really angry if Facebook concealed this material from them as it did from us in the Congress and the public," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said.

It may not be the only agency investigating the company.

"Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been communicating with attorneys for Ms. Haugen, according to one of the lawyers representing her," the newspaper reported. "The FTC also has been in communication with Ms. Haugen's team, according to another of the people familiar with the matter."

Read the full report.