Facebook hit by a record $5bn fine from the FTC2019-07-15 16:49 by Daniela
Tags: Facebook, FTC
The Federal Trade Commission has approved a fine of roughly $5 billion against Facebook for mishandling users' personal information. The settlement, which was reportedly voted along party lines, gaining support from the FTC's three Republicans while being rejected by its two Democrats, is the beginning of the end for the agency's probe of Facebook's alleged mishandling of more than 87 million users' private data during the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The decision signals a newly aggressive stance by regulators toward the country's most powerful technology companies. The fine would be the largest civil penalty ever paid to the agency. However, despite the record-breaking nature of the fine, Facebook is expected to absorb the hit on its balance sheet without so much as flinching having generated over $15bn of revenue in the first three months of 2019 alone.
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., blasted Facebook's entire business model and called for congressional hearings into the FTC's actions in a series of tweets.
"The FTC is foolish & foolhardy to rely on money alone to punish decades of past privacy violations & ongoing profiteering," Blumenthal wrote. "This reported $5 billion penalty is barely a tap on the wrist, not even a slap. Such a financial punishment for purposeful, blatant illegality is chump change for a company that makes tens of billions of dollars every year."
The settlement still needs to be finalized by the Justice Department's Civil Division and a final announcement could come as early as next week.
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