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Facebook, FTC Discuss ‘Multibillion Dollar’ Fine for Privacy Lapses

The data mining firm accessed the data of some 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

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FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. A report says Facebook and the FTC are negotiating a "multibillion dollar" fine for the social network's privacy lapses. VOA

A report says Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are negotiating a “multibillion dollar” fine for the social network’s privacy lapses.

The Washington Post said Thursday that the fine would be the largest ever imposed on a tech company. Citing unnamed sources, it also said the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount.

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Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. VOA

It has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into the Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. The data mining firm accessed the data of some 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

ALSO READ: Hacker Who Stole Over 600 mn Account Details Strikes Again

At issue is whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement with the FTC promising to protect user privacy. Facebook and the FTC declined to comment. (VOA)

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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

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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.

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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)