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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. the fact that fb shares surged instead of sank on the FTC news is the story https://t.co/SztA1iAyOg pic.twitter.com/qDrzaR8J4Q — rat king (@MikeIsaac) July 12, 2019 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. Congressmen — both Republican and Democrat — have told…

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