Facebook has been hit with the largest fine in Federal Trade Commission history.
What We Know:
- Facebook was being investigated by The Federal Trade Commission for violating the privacy of its users. According to the FTC, Facebook used phone numbers to direct ads to their users, along with failing to protect data from third parties and lying about their facial recognition software being turned off. In order to settle the charges, the outlet was ordered to pay the fine and agree to new privacy regulations.
- Moving forward, all of Facebook’s new products will be required to conduct a privacy review. They also have to obtain purpose and use certifications from apps and third parties when they inquire about using Facebook’s user data.
- In a blog post, Facebook wrote, “The agreement will require a fundamental shift in the way we approach our work and it will place additional responsibility on people building our procedures at every level of the company.”
- The punishment itself became a concerning topic to some in the White House. The Democrats specifically. Democratic commissioners felt CEO Mark Zuckerberg would be exempt from any consequences. Some even felt that the $5 billion wasn’t a big enough fine, which is arguable since thats about a month of revenue for the social media platform. “The settlement imposes no meaningful changes to the company’s structure of financial incentive,” wrote FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra,” nor does it include any restrictions on the company’s mass surveillance or advertising tactics.”
- Other commissioners felt a fine should have been out of the question, and ultimately litigation be the final result. House Antitrust Leader Rep. David Cicilline called the fine a “slap on the wrist.”
Ultimately, justice was served but the consumers of the world can only hope Facebook is officially safe for them to use now.