Tech

Facebook Settles With FTC For $5 Billion, New Privacy Guarantees

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Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion and promised new privacy guarantees Wednesday to settle an investigation initiated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The agency officially announced its investigation into the tech giant’s privacy oversight in March 2018, arguing that Facebook violated the terms of its 2011 settlement “by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information,” a Wednesday statement from the agency reads.

Facebook’s 2012 agreement with the FTC required the company to get consent from users before changing its privacy and sharing policies and receive periodic assessments of its privacy practices for 20 years. (RELATED: Former Facebook Content Moderator Sues The Company, Says Her Job Gave Her PTSD)

“The settlement order announced today … imposes unprecedented new restrictions on Facebook’s business operations and creates multiple channels of compliance,” the agency’s statement continues. (RELATED: Facebook To Give French Judges Identifying Data Of People Suspected Of Hate Speech, Official Says)

“The order requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy from the corporate board-level down, and establishes strong new mechanisms to ensure that Facebook executives are accountable for the decisions they make about privacy, and that those decisions are subject to meaningful oversight.”

The FTC’s investigation came just after it was revealed in 2018 that Facebook improperly shared the data of tens of millions of people with Cambridge Analytica, a political data-analysis company, which was hired by then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The tech giant also agreed to settle a separate case with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $100 million for misleading its users about how their data could have been used by third parties and developers without their permission or knowledge.

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