This settlement is supposed to resolve the Justice Department's investigation into Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook also promised users that it wouldn't share personal information about them with advertisers when in fact the company identified to advertisers the users who clicked on their ads or to whom ads were targeted.
The Commission voted 3 to 2 in support of the fine, The Wall Street Journal disclosed, mentioning unrevealed origins knowledgeable about the subject.
If the fine is ratified by the Justice Department's civil division, it would be the largest ever levied by the FTC on a tech company.
The regulator sought to establish whether the disclosures violated a 2012 agreement in which Facebook promised to better protect its users' privacy. That being said, the final vote from the 5 FTC commissioners who presided over the whole thing proved to be a very close run thing, and the final tally of votes was 3-2 in favor of the settlement. Facebook's earnings from 2019's first quarter we're of $15billion. He also noted that "This fine is a fraction of Facebook's annual revenue".
Although the reported settlement serves as the FTC's largest fine for privacy violations, lawmakers have criticized the size of the fine given Facebook's wealth.
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Since the Cambridge Analytica fiasco emitted over a year prior and provoked the examination, Facebook has pledged to complete superior employment securing its clients' information. It is still unclear what restrictions are on Facebook's handling of user privacy in the settlement. US Congressman David Cicilline even contended that "The FTC just gave Facebook a Christmas present five months early". Democrats on the commission were "pushing for tougher oversight", the Journal wrote.
If the settlement is finalized as expected, the fine would represent the greatest penalty every issued by the FTC. "With the FTC either unable or unwilling to put in place reasonable guardrails to ensure that user privacy and data are protected, it's time for Congress to act".
While the FTC settlement removes a major burden weighing on the company, Facebook is still grappling with regulatory scrutiny on a host of other fronts.
In other words, for a company made famous for moving fast and breaking things, this could force Facebook to slow down a little bit.