wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

FTC approves $5 billion penalty on Facebook for privacy violations

The US Federal Trades Commission (FTC) will impose a fine of $5 billion on Facebook for violating a decree governing privacy breaches, stemming from the Cambridge Analytics scandal, the Wall Street Journal reported. This is largest penalty the FTC has imposed against a technology company; its second largest fine was a mere $23 million on Google in 2012. Even so, the penalty will hardly make a dent in Facebook’s business — as many others have highlighted. Facebook made $15 billion in revenue and $2.4 billion in profits in just the first three months of 2019, and earned $22.1 billion in profits last year.

When news of the fine broke out, the company’s share price went up, leading some to say that the company was out of control.

This is presumably because in March 2019, Facebook had already told investors that it was expecting the penalty and had set aside $3 billion for it. As a result, the news of the fine didn’t surprise investors, and ironically, reaffirmed their faith in the company.

FTC’s fine faces criticism

The FTC began its investigation into Facebook in March 2018, responding to news reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed personal data of 87 million Americans for possible violations of the 2011 consent decree the company had signed with the FTC.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Congressmen — both Republican and Democrat — have told the FTC that a $5 billion penalty was too little and that Mark Zuckerberg should personally be held responsible. “The FTC just gave Facebook a Christmas present five months early,” said Democrat Congressman David Ciciline. The amount won’t make Facebook think twice about their responsibility to protect user data. “If the FTC won’t protect consumers, Congress surely must” he said, echoing calls for deeper regulation of tech companies by lawmaking, instead of just via regulators.

“Given Facebook’s repeated privacy violations, it is clear that fundamental structural reforms are required,” said Democrat Senator Mark R. Warner. “With the FTC either unable or unwilling to put in place reasonable guardrails to ensure that user privacy and data are protected, it’s time for Congress to act.”

Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...


By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...


By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

You May Also Like


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ