Facebook to pay record $5 billion U.S. fine over privacy violations; critics call it a bargain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc will pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine to resolve a authorities probe into its privacy practices and the social media big will restructure its strategy to privacy, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission mentioned on Wednesday.

Facebook to pay record $5 billion U.S. fine over privacy violations; critics call it a bargain 1

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joe Simons proclaims that Facebook Inc has agreed to a settlement of allegations it mishandled person privacy throughout a information convention at FTC Headquarters in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The probe uncovered a wide selection of privacy points. It was triggered final 12 months by allegations that Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree by inappropriately sharing data belonging to 87 million customers with the now-defunct British political consulting agency Cambridge Analytica. The consultancy’s purchasers included President Donald Trump’s 2016 election marketing campaign.

The FTC voted 3-2 alongside get together strains to undertake the settlement, which requires court docket approval. The Republican commissioners referred to as the settlement “a complete home run” that exceeded any award the fee might have gotten in court docket. Democratic commissioners mentioned it didn’t go far sufficient or require a massive sufficient fine.

Republican FTC Chairman Joe Simons burdened the FTC’s restricted authority and want to keep away from a lengthy unsure court docket battle.

“Would it have been nice to get more, to get $10 billion, instead of $5 billion for example, to get greater restrictions on how Facebook collects uses and shares data?” he requested at a press convention. “We did not have those options. We cannot impose such things by our own fiat.”

Facebook confirmed it would pay the $5 billion fine and mentioned the FTC deal would supply “a comprehensive new framework for protecting people’s privacy.” Its share worth fell about 1% on Wednesday morning to commerce at $200.39.

Democratic FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra complained that the penalty supplied “blanket immunity” for Facebook executives “and no real restraints on Facebook’s business model” and does “not fix the core problems that led to these violations.”

Facebook agreed to pay a further $100 million to settle allegations that it misled buyers in regards to the seriousness of its misuse of customers’ knowledge, the Securities and Exchange Commission mentioned.

Under the FTC settlement, Facebook’s board will create an impartial privacy committee that removes “unfettered control by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over decisions affecting user privacy.”

Facebook additionally agreed to train higher oversight over third-party apps, and mentioned it was ending entry to good friend knowledge for Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp.

The Republican majority on the FTC mentioned the settlement “significantly diminishes Mr. Zuckerberg’s power — something no government agency, anywhere in the world, has thus far accomplished.”

Under the deal, Zuckerberg and different Facebook executives should signal quarterly certifications testifying to privacy practices. The FTC mentioned Zuckerberg…


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