Facebook Pays Record $5m to Resolve Privacy Violations
The Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that Facebook has agreed to pay a record $5 billion to resolve a U.S. investigation into years of privacy violations. This settlement increases the board of directors’ responsibility for protecting users’ data but changes little about the company’s lucrative advertising business.
This decision is also meant to create an independent privacy committee of directors on the company’s board, according to an FTC statement. Facebook is also henceforth required to keep a tighter leash on third-party apps, perform regular sweeps for unencrypted passwords and refrain from using telephone numbers obtained for security purposes for advertising.
The agreement, which was approved by the FTC’s Republican majority by a vote of 3-2, does little to alter Facebook’s structural data collection practices. While the fine is steep, it’s far from devastating for Facebook, which reported sales of almost $56 billion in 2018. It previously set aside $3 billion in anticipation of the fine.