The Washington Post says the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is planning “record-setting” fines against Facebook for their failure to protect their users’ data. The fines would be the first against the social networking monolith in the U.S. since the Cambridge Analytica mess.
The fine against Facebook is expected to be “much larger” than the $22.5 million fine levied against Google by the FTC in 2012, which was a record for punishments of that type.
The FTC hasn’t publicly announced or commented on the report, due to the current U.S. government shutdown. The FTC probe of Facebook opened back in March 2018, looking into the social network’s handling of user data. Details of what the agency discovered are not available. However, considering the allegedly high amount of the fine, severe mishandling of the data must have been discovered.
The FTC’s exact findings in its Facebook investigation and the total amount of the fine, which the agency’s five commissioners have discussed at a private meeting in recent weeks, have not been finalized, two of the people said. Staff has briefed the commissioners about their probe, the third person said, and plan to issue a formal recommendation for a fine soon — a move that would then trigger a vote by the commissioners.
The original agreement between Facebook and the FTC specified that Facebook must notify their users and ask permission before sharing user data with any third-parties. The agreement also required the company to notify the FTC whenever user data was mishandled.