INTERNATIONAL

Facebook fined $5 bn for privacy violations

It has been asked to submit to new restrictions

U.S. regulators on Wednesday slapped a record $5 billion fine on Facebook for privacy violations in a settlement requiring the world’s biggest social network to “submit to new restrictions and a modified corporate structure.”

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simmons said: “Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices.”

“The magnitude of the $5 billion penalty and sweeping conduct relief are unprecedented in the history of the FTC. The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations.”

The agreement establishes an independent privacy committee within Facebook’s board of directors, “removing unfettered control by CEO Mark Zuckerberg over decisions affecting user privacy,” the FTC statement said.

Two commissioners of the five-member FTC dissented in the settlement, saying the penalty was insufficient. “The proposed settlement does little to change the business model or practices that led to the recidivism,” FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra said.

In a separate agreement with stock market regulators, Facebook agreed to pay a $100 million penalty for making “misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of Facebook user data” in an investigation into the hijacking of data by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Recommended for you