- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly considering hitting Facebook with a record-breaking fine over privacy violations.
- According to The Washington Post, the US regulatory body is considering taking action after opening an investigation in 2018.
- The FTC discussion about fines comes after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other crises have made Facebook the subject of heavy scrutiny.
Facebook’s privacy nightmare may soon get worse.
According to a new report from The Washington Post published Friday, regulators at the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are considering hitting Facebook with a “record-setting” fine over user-privacy concerns.
There’s no word yet on exactly how big this record-breaking fine might be, but The Washington Post reported that it is “expected to be much larger” than the record $22.5 million penalty against Google. In theory, the FTC allows for fines of up to $40,000 per violation – violations which, in Facebook’s case, could be counted by user. But it’s by no means clear if that’s what will happen.
Facebook spokesperson Sally Aldous declined to comment to Business Insider. The FTC was not available for comment because of the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The report is indicative of how regulators and legislators are closely scrutinizing Facebook, and how the social network’s scandals may do more than just tarnish the social network’s public reputation – they could do real damage to its bottom line.
In March 2018, the FTC confirmed that it was investigating Facebook’s privacy practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which tens of millions of users’ data were misappropriated by a political-research firm.
The FTC in 2011 slapped Facebook with a consent decree, which is a legally binding promise to uphold certain privacy standards. Facebook may face the fines if it has been found to have violated this decree.
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