By CCN.com: Facebook stock plunged during mid-day trading on Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal published a bombshell report connecting CEO Mark Zuckerberg with questionable privacy practices at the social media behemoth.
FB shares dropped as low as $172.88 in the immediate aftermath of the report’s publication, knocking the stock nearly 3% off its previous close at $178.10.
According to the Wall Street Journal, an FTC investigation had spurred the discovery of a trove of potentially-damning emails linking Mark Zuckerberg to controversial privacy scandals that have roiled Facebook in recent years.
Per the report, Facebook itself unearthed those emails and turned them over to the FTC, and anonymous sources familiar with the matter say they could slap the company with a public relations nightmare if they ever become public.
Wall Street Journal reporters did not have access to the email transcripts, but sources told the publication that the emails show that Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook employees were aware – and alarmingly cavalier – about third-party developers having the ability to engage in mass data collection of Facebook users.
It’s not clear whether the email exchange would violate an FTC consent decree that has been in place since 2012. Facebook denies any wrongdoing.
“We have fully cooperated with the FTC’s investigation to date and provided tens of thousands of documents, emails and files. We are continuing to work with them and hope to bring this matter to an appropriate resolution,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “Facebook and its executives, including Mark, at all times strive to comply with all applicable law, and at no point did Mark or any other Facebook employee knowingly violate the company’s obligations under the FTC consent order.”
While privacy scandals have hounded Facebook in the past, Zuckerberg claims that the company has turned a corner.
Earlier this year, he claimed that the social media company would become a “privacy-focused communications” platform. “The future is private,” he said.
Facebook stock last traded at $174.12 for a decline of 2.23%.
Read the full Wall Street Journal report here .
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