FTC’s investigation into Facebook data practices could result in a fine up to 5 billion, Facebook estimates

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On April 24, 2019, Facebook published its financial results for the first quarter, where it estimated a probable loss and recorded an accrual of $3 billion  in connection with an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission  (FTC). 

The investigation could result in a penalty of up to 5 billion.

The FTC began its investigation into Facebook’s mishandling of data after the New York Times reported in March 2018 that the information of 87 million users had been harvested by a British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, without their permission.

The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.

In the financial results, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO added “We are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, and working collaboratively to address important issues around the internet.”

According to this source, Facebook is negotiating a settlement with the FTC that would create new positions (such as a privacy committee) and an external assessor to strengthen its privacy practices.

 

A statement by Tom Pahl, FTC agency’s acting director, about the non-public investigation into Facebook’s data practices is available here.

An interesting article explaining Facebook’s data practices is available here.

 

For more information contact Francesca Giannoni-Crystal. Thanks to Federica Romanelli