Last March, we learned that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to access personal information of 87 million users, the social media giant has faced a lot of pushback into its practices. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was brought to multiple Congressional hearings to answer questions, and there have been more privacy bills proposed and adopted that focus on privacy. We have seen a lot on the external, but what about Facebook itself? The company itself might start seeing changes soon.
According to a report from The Washington Post, the Federal Trade Commission, which started an investigation into privacy practices of Facebook, is now considering a hefty fine against the social media company. Previously, Google was fined $22.5 million and now this fine against Facebook could even surpass that.
Three individuals familiar with the matter told The Washington Post that the FTC's commissioners have met over the past few weeks to discuss the fine. While it may not be clear what the fine would be at this time, it is expected to be substantial.
The investigation started when some questioned if Facebook had violated an FTC consent decree that was put into place in 2012 from Facebook's previous privacy problems. FTC argues that because of the Cambridge Analytica issue, Facebook may have committed an infraction against the consent to obtain permission from users before sharing any of their data. Facebook in its defense has stated that it has not violated the decree and that it has “respected” privacy of its users.
If FTC does find Facebook to have committed this infraction, it would allow the company to be fined up to $40,000 per violation. We don't have any specifics regarding the fine or if Facebook may even be fined, the social media giants isn't entirely in the clear just yet.