Wednesday August 21, 2019
Home Lead Story Facebook to P...

Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine for Users’ Privacy Violations

The fine is the largest one the FTC has ever levied on a tech company. But it's affordable for Facebook, which brought in almost $56 billion in revenue in 2018

0
//
facebook, privacy violations
The fine is the largest one the FTC has ever levied on a tech company. But it's affordable for Facebook, which brought in almost $56 billion in revenue in 2018. Pixabay

Facebook is set to pay $5 billion to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week as fine for users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users.

The FTC has also fined credit bureau Equifax $575-$700 million for the breach that compromised 147 million users’ personal data in 2017, Slate.com reported on Tuesday. Earlier this month, the FTC commissioners voted by 3-2 with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the penalty on Facebook.

It is still unclear what the restrictions are on Facebook’s handling of user privacy in the settlement. FTC and Facebook declined to comment on the story. But Facebook said in April that it expected to pay up to $5 billion to settle the probe.

facebook, privacy violations
The FTC investigated whether Facebook’s data sharing with the British firm violated a 2011 consent agreement signed between Facebook and the regulator. Pixabay

The FTC initiated the investigation after a scandal involving former British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was accused of illegally accessing data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their prior knowledge.

ALSO READ: Coal-Fired Power to Remain Main Source of Energy Despite Push for Renewables

The FTC investigated whether Facebook’s data sharing with the British firm violated a 2011 consent agreement signed between Facebook and the regulator. The fine is the largest one the FTC has ever levied on a tech company. But it’s affordable for Facebook, which brought in almost $56 billion in revenue in 2018.

There have been several incidents after the Cambridge Analytica episode where Facebook acknowledged series of privacy lapses, including the latest admission that it mishandled millions of users’ passwords on Instagram and “unintentionally” uploaded emails of nearly 1.5 million of its new users. Facebook was set to announce its second quarter (Q2) results on Wednesday. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Media Giant Facebook Requires ‘Significant Work’ to Stop Political Bias

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added

0
facebook
FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has released results of an independent internal audit conducted by a former Republican senator that found the social networking giant has been biased against conservatives and needs to do “significant work” to stop this.

Former Senator Jon Kyl, a respected Republican and his team at the law firm Covington and Burling met with more than 130 leading conservative politicians and organizations and produced the report.

Facebook has long been accused of bias against conservative viewpoints to appear on its platform

“Although these concerns appear across the political and ideological spectrum, members of the conservative community in particular are concerned that the Silicon Valley-based company’s admittedly liberal culture negatively influences the reach of conservative ideas and news.”

“Political conservatives, religious traditionalists, and others are increasingly feeling marginalised by cultural ‘gatekeepers’ such as social media, entertainment media, and academia,” the report said.

According to Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, the report also highlights the changes Facebook has made to address some of those concerns.

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“These include making our decisions more transparent by providing more information on why people are seeing specific posts on News Feed; ensuring Page managers can see when enforcement action takes place; launching an appeals process; and creating a new Oversight Board for content,” Clegg said in a statement late Tuesday.

This is the first stage of an ongoing process and Senator Kyl and his team will report again in a few months’ time.

“Facebook’s policies and their application have the potential to restrict free expression. Given the platform’s popularity and ubiquity, this is a danger that must be taken very seriously. Facebook insists that it is committed to safety, equal treatment and building community,” read the report.

Also Read: Apple Card Now Available to all U.S. Customers

“Facebook has recognized the importance of our assessment and has taken some steps to address the concerns we uncovered. But there is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives,” it added.

Clegg said that “while we err on the side of free speech, there are critical exceptions”.

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added. (IANS)