US Regulators Could Impose A Record-Setting Fine on Facebook For Privacy Violations

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VIEWS: 5845 Views CATEGORY: Tech READING TIME: 3 Min To Read UPLOADED ON: 29 Jan 2019


According to the Washington Post, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials have discussed imposing a fine on Facebook who may have violated a 2012 agreement with the government to make clear statements about their privacy policy to protect users’ data. The move was brought about after a year-long of revelations of improper use of data and major data breaches. When this happens, it would be the biggest fine that Facebook has to pay in the US.


Last spring the authorities came to know that there are more than 87 million user data were given to a political consulting firm - Cambridge Analytica without permission. Because of this, the United Kingdom authorities fined Facebook £500,000 last October. Now, it has been reported that the Federal Trade Commission officials are discussing the amount, it could be higher than the $22.5 million that the FTC imposed on Google back in 2012 after they found out that the company had tracked Apple’s Safari web browser users.

In 2012, Facebook came into a consent decree with the FTC officials agreeing that the company deceived its users by saying that certain information would be kept private when it was not. Facebook had made some information, such as friends lists and published posts, accessible to the public and can be shared even with no consent from its users. Seemingly, this is the agreement that the US regulators now consider Facebook has violated.

The members of Congress and advocacy groups have called the attention of the FTC officials to take action after the issue on Cambridge Analytica, and similar occurrences like a hacker have gained access to 29 million users’ accounts. According to a media and technology advocacy group - Free Press, “Serious consequences are the only way to curb Facebook’s predatory behavior and change the industry’s amoral pursuit of growth at the public’s expense. This action should be the first of many taken by regulators and Congress in response to online platforms’ systemic abuse of their users.”

Reportedly, the results of the Facebook investigation and the amount of the fine still has not been settled. Facebook has coordinated with US regulators throughout the past year, but there is no decision yet on whether the company would agree to the fine that the FTC is anticipated to impose.


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