Facebook’s privacy lapses may result in record fine

Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to participants during the Viva Technologie show at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles

Facebook may be hit with “record-setting fine” by FTC, report says

The commission is considering hitting Facebook with a penalty that would top its previous record fine of US$22.5 million, which it dealt to Google in 2012 for bypassing the privacy controls in Apple Inc's Safari browser, according to the Washington Post.

The FTC decree, which runs through 2031, requires Facebook to get its users' consent to share their personal information in ways that aren't allowed by their privacy settings.

The FTC began investigation of Facebook's data practices last March, shortly after the social platform admitted that British firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed the personal data of up to 87 million users.

Both the FTC and Facebook have denied commenting on the investigation. That fine set a record for the greatest penalty for violating an agreement with the FTC to improve its privacy practices.

Facebook may be able to settle with the FTC, if they accept a significant financial penalty, and the tech giant has been in talks with the independent agency. "The agency now has the legal authority, the evidence, and the public support to act". In the 2012 agreement with the FTC, Facebook agreed that it had deceived users by telling them certain information would be kept private when it was not. "There can be no excuse for further delay", said Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which helped to bring about the FTC's 2011 charges against Facebook.

Labour MP Tells Andrew Castle There Isn't Massive Party Divisions
Sir Keir Starmer said the negotiations were so late on it was unlikely any change of tack from Britain would remove the most controversial part of the current deal.

Facebook has since acknowledged several other lapses in protecting user data, drawing additional scrutiny from regulators around the world.

Cambridge Analytica received the data from researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who obtained the information in 2014 through the personality-quiz app "thisisyourdigitallife". Regulators in the United Kingdom assessed a roughly $640,000 (roughly Rs. 4.56 crores) fine that Facebook is appealing.

The FTC's five commissioners have discussed fining Facebook but haven't settled on the amount yet, according to the Post.

The advocacy group Free Press on Friday called for Congress to also move against Facebook. Facebook has said the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are also investigating.

Latest News