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Dingell: FCC Should Investigate Cambridge Analytica

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) has called on FCC chairman Ajit Pai to launch in investigation into whether Cambridge Analytica was able to obtain video viewing data as well as Facebook user data.

In a letter to the FCC, she said she wanted it to determine whether Cambridge got such viewing or other personal data, whether it used it in the 2016 presidential campaign, and if so, whether that violated communications law.

Cambridge Analytica has been on the hot seat in D.C., along with Facebook, after revelations it used info from up to 87 million Facebook users--without their knowledge--to build profiles to sell to political campaigns.

Related: FTC Confirms Facebook is Target of Probe

But the congresswoman is looking beyond Facebook to what other data Cambridge Analytica may have gathered.

“Specifically, I request the Commission investigate whether any entity under the FCC’s oversight provided its subscribers’ personally identifiable information or viewing habits to Cambridge Analytica, and whether such disclosure violated the Communications Act," wrote Dingell. "Further, such an investigation should seek to uncover the business relationship between these companies and Cambridge Analytica, including any understanding by the companies of how Cambridge Analytica used such data and whether Cambridge Analytica planned to use the data to influence the 2016 Presidential Election.”

Dingell cited an interview from 2016 in which Cambridge Analytica chief revenue officer Brittany Kaiser said the company purchased viewer data and could use it to understand voter preferences, as well as use it with info from smart TV's and set-tops to target political ads.

The FCC is preparing to turn broadband privacy enforcement over to the Federal Trade Commission when its Restoring Internet Freedom order takes effect, but retains oversight of MVPD customer information privacy.

Dingell has asked Pai to respond before the end of the month.