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Facebook Faces $5 Billion in Fines for Privacy Violations over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook Faces $5 Billion in Fines for Privacy Violations over Cambridge Analytica Scandal
  • The fine was imposed by the Federal Trade Commission after a lengthy investigation conducted on the social media company.
  • The Department of Justice is yet to take a decision regarding the approval of this fine.

Social media giant Facebook will soon shell out $5 billion in fines due to numerous privacy lapse incidents. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which investigated Facebook for a while, imposed the hefty fine. According to the Wall Street Journal, which reported this development on Friday, the $5 billion penalty was approved by FTC after a 3-2 vote by its commissioners favoring the fine. As of now, this is the largest fine to be potentially imposed on a tech company.

Worth noting

  • The FTC began an investigation began over a year ago after reports of privacy violations of millions of Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
  • The FTC investigation was focused on whether Facebook violated a 2012 consent decree with FTC under which Facebook committed to improve protection for user privacy.
  • After it found that Facebook was violating this, it decided to impose a fine with a 3-2 vote by the FTC commissioners, which was subsequently set at $5 billion.
  • However, this fine is yet to be approved by the Department of Justice (DoJ). The FTC has sent a report to the DoJ for review regarding the settlement.
  • In a quarterly report, Facebook had earlier estimated that it would pay out $3 billion as fines for an inquiry set by FTC.

Unlikely to affect Facebook

With Facebook having more than $50 billion in yearly revenues, many critics believe that this fine would unlikely impact Facebook. “This fine is a fraction of Facebook’s annual revenue. It won’t make them think twice about their responsibility to protect user data,” said Representative David Cicilline.

Furthermore, it is also unknown whether this settlement would make Facebook revamp its regulations regarding personal data.

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