Facebook to face record fine for privacy data lapses by US regulators

Clay Curtis
January 20, 2019

The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million (roughly Rs. 160 crores) fine the agency imposed on Google in 2012.

The FTC and Facebook declined to comment about the investigation. It was a record fine ever imposed by the Federal Trade Commission. Another commentator, Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said: "The agency now has the legal authority, the evidence, and the public support to act".

The investigation from FTC is just one of the several investigations being conducted on Facebook.

Tech & business attorney Seth Berenzweig and tech expert John Meyer on a new study, which shows that 74 percent of Facebook users are unaware that the social media giant records a list of their interests for ad-targeting purposes.

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The commission's decree, which runs through 2031, requires Facebook to get its users' consent to share their personal information in ways that are not allowed by their privacy settings.

Facebook's privacy breaches There was an agreement between Facebook and the U.S. government back in 2012 that was to protect user's data and make clear statements about their privacy that may have been violated as well. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and similar incidents, which included a hacker accessing personal information on 29 million accounts, both members of the US Congress and advocacy groups called on the FTC to take action against Facebook. Cambridge Analytica relied on researchers to assemble a quiz app that collected names, locations, interests and other data from those who installed it as well as their friends. Regulators around the world threatened to punish Facebook and rein in the data-collection practices of its Silicon Valley peers. That now-defunct British data analytics company was revealed to have retained data on 50 million Facebook users despite claiming to have deleted it.

The U.K. handed Facebook a $640,000 fine that they are appealing.

The FTC's five commissioners have discussed fining Facebook but haven't settled on the amount yet, according to the Post. Facebook also admitted that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are also investigating the company.

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