Facebook reportedly hit with US$5 billion fine for privacy breaches

Facebook’s $5 billion fine doesn’t bode well for Libra

The US Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a fine of about $5bn for Facebook over privacy violations, according to a report.The Wall Street Journal reported that the vote was 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the fine.

While the deal resolves a major regulatory headache for Facebook, the Silicon Valley firm still faces further potential antitrust probes as the FTC and Justice Department undertake a wide-ranging review of competition among the biggest USA tech companies.

In addition to the fine, Facebook has reportedly agreed to "more comprehensive oversight of how it handles user data. but none of the conditions in the settlement will restrict Facebook's ability to collect and share data with third parties", the NYT reports says.

Both Facebook and the FTC decided not to comment any further on the fine. But Facebook said in April that it expected to pay up to 5 billion dollars to settle the probe.

The F.T.C.'s investigation was set off by The New York Times and The Observer of London, which uncovered that the social network allowed Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm to the Trump campaign, to harvest personal information of its users. The incident occurred in March past year, which means the social media giant violated a 2011 agreement which forced it to notify users and request clear consent if it wants to share their data.

If cleared, it would be the greatest fine ever levied by the FTC on a tech firm.

More news: Important NPCs Can Not Be Killed In Cyberpunk 2077

Facebook's stock value increased 1.8 per cent after the fine was announced, closing at almost $205, the highest it has been all year.

"The reported $5 billion penalty is barely a tap on the wrist, not even a slap", said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT.

Open Markets also calls upon Congress to investigate the FTC's failure to police our markets.

An FTC spokeswoman said Friday that the agency would have no comment. The stock is up more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year.

"This fine signals that regulators are ratcheting up the pressure", said Dimitri Sirota, the CEO of BigID, a business data privacy company, in an email. "It's very disappointing that such an enormously powerful company that engaged in such serious misconduct is getting a slap on the wrist", said Cicilline. "That said, this reported fine is a mosquito bite to a corporation the size of Facebook". This includes almost a dozen by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which oversees privacy regulation in the European Union. Of course Democrat politicians have criticised the decision, but many more independent commentators have noted that the fine amounts to less than a quarter's profit for the social media giant.

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