Facebook will reportedly be fined a record $5 billion over privacy mishaps

Facebook fined over privacy violations

The Journal report says the 3-2 vote by FTC commissioners broke along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the fine.

The Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook over its handling of user privacy.

Seven years prior, Facebook had reached a settlement with the FTC after it was accused of making data public that it had promised would be private.

Representatives for Facebook and the FTC didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The settlement will now be reviewed by the Department of Justice, though it's unlikely that the DOJ will change the outcome of the terms.

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said in a statement that the fine gives Facebook "a Christmas present five months early". It's very disappointing that such an enormously powerful company that engaged in such serious misconduct is getting a slap on the wrist.

In late April, Facebook told investors it was expecting a fine of $3 billion to $5 billion over its privacy scandals. "It won't make them think twice about their responsibility to protect user data", he said. Google paid the FTC $22.5 million in 2012 for violating a decree.

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The leading social network with more than two billion users worldwide has also been facing inquiries on privacy from authorities in USA states and regulators around the world.

But the company's core business has proven resilient, as Facebook blew past earnings estimates in the past two quarters.

Facebook and other prominent tech companies finds themselves under increasing scrutiny in Washington DC.

The settlement includes "government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy", Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported citing sources familiar with the matter, without specifying what those restrictions might be.

In 2018, it was revealed that the data was used for other purposes, and that Facebook didn't do enough to close the pipeline of information that Cambridge Analytica had access to. However, that oversight could still introduce more overhead to the company and put a damper on new products and plans - we've already seen skepticism from politicians such as President Donald Trump over Libra, Facebook's new cryptocurrency initiative.

Outside activist groups also decried the alleged Facebook settlement.

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