Facebook reaches a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over Cambridge Analytica user privacy violations.
Monica McNeil

2019-08-12 07:30:00 Mon ET

Facebook reaches a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over Cambridge Analytica user privacy violations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probes into prevalent user privacy practices across the social media ecosystem of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp etc. FTC commissioners break along party lines, 3-to-2, as the GOP majority votes line up to support the $5 billion settlement (whereas Democratic commissioners object this pact). This punitive fine is the single largest one against a tech titan by FTC to date, but some progressive lawmakers remain furious primarily due to the key controversial inadequacy of FTC curtailing future data leaks and breaches of the same sort of Cambridge Analytica.

The Cambridge Analytica data debacle may have compromised the personal data for about 87 million Facebook users. FTC requires Facebook to establish a new independent Privacy Committee of directors on the current corporate board. This committee would oversee all necessary audit functions to ensure strict compliance with key FTC consumer privacy rules and best practices. With 53% majority control rights, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may inadvertently be able to influence the nomination and appointment of independent directors on the Privacy Committee. This core settlement can cause ripple effects on the broader corporate governance structure.

 


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