14 Jul 2019
Facebook faces $5 billion fine over privacy violations: Details here
From Cambridge Analytica to data leaks, Facebook has committed a plethora of privacy violations over the last two years.
The company has apologized for every single debacle, but the Federal Trade Commission wants to ensure it never repeats those mistakes. And, rightly so.
For this, the agency has approved a multi-billion dollar fine on the organization, the highest ever imposed on a tech company.
$5 billion fine approved for Facebook
Considering Facebook's privacy missteps, the FTC commissioners settled on a fine of $5 billion for the company, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
They all voted on the matter, with three Republicans agreeing in favor of the fine, while two Democrats opposing it.
Now, their decision has moved under the Justice Department's civil division for review and implementation.
Largest FTC fine on a tech company
Though it remains unclear how long the civil division will take to review the settlement, the decision means Facebook is facing the largest fine ever imposed by FTC on a technology company.
The current record is held by Google, which was fined $22.5 million by the agency following a probe into its data-sharing practices in 2012.
However, the fine is unlikely to unsettle Facebook
The reported FTC fine is definitely huge, but it is unlikely to unsettle Facebook's growth.
Back in April, the company had reported a whopping $15.1 billion in sales, 26% higher than the last year, for the first quarter of 2019.
Of this amount, it had kept $3 billion, roughly 6 percent of its cash and marketable securities in hand, aside for the FTC fine.
Future course of action remains unclear
Now that we know how much Facebook would have to pay for its privacy disasters, the question remains what else the FTC would do to prevent these mishaps from happening again.
The agency could put restrictions to monitor or regulate Facebook's activities in the future to reassure people that their data is safe.
But, the final outcome still remains to be seen.
Here's what Facebook had said on the matter
"We estimate the range of loss in this matter is $3 billion to $5 billion," Facebook said in the earnings statement issued in April. "The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome."