Facebook announced in its quarterly financial results on Wednesday that the big tech company expects to be fined between $3-5 billion USD by the Federal Trade Commission for previous privacy violations.
Last year, the FTC opened a new investigation after Facebook was accused of not protecting user data from being used without consent by British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was putting together voter profiles for Donald Trump’s campaign. The social media platform also suffered a data security breach that led to the exposure of almost 50 million users’ personal information.
If the FTC decides to go with the expected penalty, it would be a record for them against a technology company — its previous record was $22 million USD against Google for misrepresentation of how its tracking tools were used. Such a move would indicate the US government’s willingness to finally crack down on big tech companies, a stance Europe has taken for a while already. However, while $5 billion USD sounds like a very big sum of money, compared to Facebook’s annual revenue of $56 billion USD, the penalty might seem too little for some. As Matt Stoler, fellow at the Open Markets Institute comments, “This would be a joke of a fine — a two-weeks-of-revenue, parking-ticket-level penalty for destroying democracy.”
Since the figures are just expectations from Facebook, the company did also state that “the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.” We’ll have to wait and see what the FTC conclusively decides.
In more related privacy news, Bloomberg has confirmed that Amazon employees listening to you through Alexa also have access to your location data.Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST
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