FTC Privacy Investigation: Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine


The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a record of $5 billion settlement with Facebook following months of negotiations over its privacy investigations into the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The settlement is believed to put an end to a broad-ranging probe that began over a year ago and surrounds the violation of a 2011 agreement that they had made with Facebook requiring Facebook to gain obvious consent from the users to share their personal data.

Image Source: https://thehackernews.com

The FTC has launched an investigation into the social media giant last year after it came into light that the Company has allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of around 87 million Facebook users without their obvious consent. According to the latest report published by the Wall Street Journal, the FTC Commissioners has finally voted to approve a $5 billion settlement with the three Republicans voting to approve the deal and two Democrats against it. On the other hand, Facebook has anticipated the fine between $3 billion and $5 billion and had already set $3 billion aside for the fine this spring when the company has released its first quarter 2019 financial earnings report.

Despite all the criticisms that Facebook has recently faced over its mishandling of users’ data, the company’s earnings and as well as the user base is continuously taking a steep, having Facebook bringing in over $15 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2019 alone. The social media network has also added 39 million daily active users to its platform. Though the $5 billion fine amounts to just one month’s worth of Facebook‘s revenue, it is the biggest fine imposed by FTC till the date, far bigger than the $22.5 million fine that had been levied against Google in 2012 for allegedly violating an agreement to improve privacy practices.

Image Source: https://www.pcmag.com

The FTC has not yet announced the settlement deal publicly, as the agreement still needs approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. Not just the FTC, UK’s Information Commissioner Office (ICO) has also imposed a fine of £500,000 (over $628,000) on Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Source: The Hacker News

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