Facebook To Pay Billions Of Dollars In Data Breach Penalty

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According to reports, Facebook is facing a record multi-billion dollar fine that was imposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for privacy violations.

The penalty is greater as compared to the $22.5 million (£17.5 million) fine that was issued by the FTC to Google for failing to protect the data of its user, thus making it the largest-ever financial punishment that was imposed by the privacy and security watchdog of the United States of America.

According to The Washington Post, the FTC has been examining Facebook to determine whether or not it violated the terms of its privacy order with the FTC in 2011.

Allegedly, the privacy order requires Facebook to receive express permission from its consumers prior to sharing their information with third parties especially if sharing it meant changing its existing privacy settings.

A civil penalty would be the most recent development in the 11-month long probe into Facebook as spurred by its relationship with Cambridge Analytica.

Last March, Facebook made headlines when news revealed that it had allowed the political consultant agency to access the data of approximately 87 million users without their permission.

The Post reported that if the FTC finds that Facebook is in violation of the 2011 order, the social media giant would likely face a $41,000 (£31,965) fine for every violation of the order that the FTC finds.

The fines for the violations could extend beyond the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as the firm has recently come under fire for numerous complaints about consumer data and privacy.

A spokesperson from Facebook stated: “We are cooperating with officials in the US, UK, and beyond. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues.”

Reportedly, the privacy concerns come amid the plans at Facebook to share data across Instagram, Facebook messenger, and Whatsapp which has troubled US representatives and advocacy groups alike.

The fine would not be the first that was imposed on Facebook in the past years for its involvement with Cambridge Analytica.

Last October, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the data protection watchdog of the United Kingdom, imposed a maximum penalty of £500,000 at Facebook for its role in abusing user data.

Currently, Facebook is challenging the penalty in court. It is arguing that the ICO could not prove that the users in the United Kingdom were affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.