After several months of negotiations, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a record amount of $5 billion from Facebook in connection with a confidentiality investigation concerning the scandal with Cambridge Analytica.
The agreement will put an end to a large-scale investigation that began more than a year ago and focused on a breach of the 2011 Facebook agreement with the FTC, which required that Facebook obtain the explicit consent of users to share their own personal data.
The FTC launched an investigation into the social network giant last year after the company allowed Cambridge Analytica to access personal data from around 87 million Facebook users without their explicit consent.
Now, according to a new report published by the Wall Street Journal, the FTC commissioners this week have finally voted to approve an agreement worth $5 billion, with three Republicans voting to approve the agreement, and two Democrats against it.
Facebook was expecting a fine of $3 billion and $5 billion and has already allocated $3 billion for a fine this spring when the company published a financial statement for the first quarter of 2019.
Despite all the criticisms that Facebook has recently found due to improper management of user data, the company’s revenue and user base are constantly growing. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, Facebook has generated revenue of over $15 billion. The network of social networks has also added to its platform 39 million active users every day.
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“This penalty is part of Facebook’s annual income. It will not make them think of the responsibility to protect user data,” said Democratic spokesman David Sicilian and chairman of the congressional anti-monopoly commission, calling the punishment “Christmas”. send five months before “on Twitter.
“These fined $5 billion fines are just a blow to the wrist, not even a slap in the face,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) said in a statement.
“Such a financial punishment for obvious and blatant lawlessness is nonsense for a company that brings tens of billions of dollars every year.”
The FTC has not publicly regulated the transaction, as the agreement has yet to be approved by the United States Department of Justice.
Not only the FTC but also the British Information Commissioner (ICO) has imposed a fine of 500,000 pounds (over 628,000 US dollars) on Facebook for the scandal with Cambridge Analytica.