Facebook is legally bound to the U.S government for protecting its users’ data and their privacy. But they have acted against a 2012 agreement by sharing data improperly. Due to this, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) authorities are discussing now to impose a fine on Facebook. This fine will be fallen under the category of “record-setting” fine.
Facebook had given the users’ personal data to Cambridge Analytica which is a British political consulting firm. More than 87 million users’ private data was shared with Analytica without their explicit consent. Last October, when this was revealed, UK authorities imposed a £500,000 fine on Facebook. But this £500,000 is in lower in value when considering the fine amount that U.S. officials are discussing now. If this fine was imposed, Facebook would face the first bigger fine in the U.S after the UK’s one.
FTC imposed 22.5 million dollars fine on Google in 2012 for tracking users of Safari web browser without their acknowledgment. But this time, the fine on Facebook could be more than $22.5.
A consent decree was signed by the Facebook with the FTC in 2012. By signing it, they agreed that they had been dishonest with their users. Though they told their users that some user information would be saved private, it was not kept private. Information such as published posts and lists of friends were accessible to the public and had the capability of sharing those without the approval of their users. In this way, they deceived their users. This time, FTC regulators believe that Facebook has violated that agreement.
Apart from Cambridge Analytica incident, another data breaching incident happened in Last September. A group of hackers gained access to 29 million Facebook user accounts. Considering these consecutive incidents, FTC was asked to take appropriate action against Facebook by members of Congress as well as the advocacy groups.
“Serious consequences are the only way to curb Facebook’s predatory behavior and change the industry’s amoral pursuit of growth at the public’s expense. This action should be the first of many taken by regulators and Congress in response to online platforms’ systemic abuse of their users,” Free Press made a statement on January 18, 2019.
FTC officials still have not come to a final decision about the results of the investigation and the fine. Though officials from Facebook have met with FTC regulators throughout 2018, it is not clear whether Facebook would agree with the charges and the fine that FTC expects to impose.


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