FTC approves a record $5 billion settlement with Facebook over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Pierluigi Paganini July 13, 2019

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a record $5 billion settlement with Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook will be obliged to pay a $5 Billion fine to settle the investigation conducted by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In April 2018, Facebook revealed that 87 million users have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica case, much more than 50 million users initially thought.

“The Federal Trade Commission has approved a fine of roughly $5 billion against Facebook for mishandling users’ personal information, according to three people briefed on the vote, in what would be a landmark settlement that signals a newly aggressive stance by regulators toward the country’s most powerful technology companies.” reported The New York Times.

Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal

The news is not a surprise for the expert, the settlement was anticipated by the media over the past months. The final approval will arrive in the coming weeks from the US Justice Department, that usually approves settlements reached by the FTC.

If approved, it would be the biggest fine assigned by the federal government against a tech firm.

The probe began more than a year ago, the agency found that the way Facebook manages user data violated a 2011 privacy settlement with the FTC. At the time, Facebook was accused of deceiving people about how the social network giant handled their data. The settlement obliged the company to review its privacy practices.

In the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, the company allowed to access to the personal data of around 87 million Facebook users without their explicit consent.

In April, Facebook disclosed its first quarter 2019 financial earnings report that revealed the company had set $3 billion aside in anticipation of the settlement with the FTC.

“This fine is a fraction of Facebook’s annual revenue. It won’t make them think twice about their responsibility to protect user data,” said Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat and chair of a congressional antitrust panel.

Recently the UK’s Information Commissioner Office (ICO) has also imposed a £500,000 fine on Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Cambridge Analytica, Facebook)

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