Economy

Federal Trade Commission issues Facebook a $5 billion fine for privacy violations

Federal Trade Commission issues Facebook a $5 billion fine for privacy violations

In the United Kingdom, the Information Commissioner's Office fined Facebook £500,000 previous year for a "serious breach of data protection law". The agreement still needs approval from the Justice Department.

If the Justice Department approves the settlement-and it usually sides with the FTC on these matters-it would be the largest fine US regulators have ever issued a tech company.

The FTC launched the investigation in March 2018 after reports emerged that tens of millions of Facebook users lost their private data with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytics.

Cicilline, the chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, wrote: "It's very disappointing that such an enormously powerful company that engaged in such serious misconduct is getting a slap on the wrist".

The job of defending the settlement will fall to FTC Chairman Joe Simons, who has tried to avoid split enforcement decisions as head of the agency.

What we don't yet know is what additional measures may be placed on the company, such as increased privacy oversight, or if there will be any personal repercussions for the company's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the Facebook matter. The two already have power over the company's privacy policies.

Robot umpire aid debuts in minors as MLB watches closely
According to the Record , TrackMan measures each batter's height and develops a strike zone based on that information. A batter can be thrown out at first base in the event he tries advancing when a ball gets past the backstop.

The FTC hasn't announced the deal publicly. The probe has focussed on whether the data sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator. That revelation prompted several others that eventually led to worldwide scrutiny of Facebook's practices.

The data was acquired via a quiz, which invited users to find out their personality type. About 270,000 people downloaded the app, allowing the researcher to access data about those individuals and their friends. The Wall Street Journal reported that terms of the settlement were "expected to include other government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy".

The Cambridge Analytica breach came as one of many leaks for the social-media giant, only adding to the FTC's grievances.

Other possible remedies, according to analysts, included pressing for a possible breakup of the company, reversing its acquisitions of Instagram, WhatsApp, or both. Other state attorneys general are also investigating. Neither the FTC or Facebook had any comment to share at this time.

Some have called on the FTC to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally liable for the privacy violations in some way, but based on the party line vote breakdown, experts said this is not likely.


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