News

Facebook to pay record-breaking $5B penalty over violating users' privacy

'The accountability required by this agreement surpasses current U.S. law', social media giant says in statement

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced that the Menlo Park-based social media giant Facebook Inc. will pay a record-breaking $5 billion penalty for violating users' privacy.

The penalty is part of a settlement Facebook made to settle charges that the company violated a 2012 FTC order "by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information," FTC officials wrote in a news release.

Facebook was accused of using deceptive disclosures and settings that allowed the company to share users' personal information with third-party apps.

It is the largest-ever penalty imposed on a company for consumer privacy violations and is one of the largest ever assessed by the federal government.

The settlement also requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy and strengthens oversight by an independent assessor.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Almanac Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

"Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers' choices," FTC chairman Joe Simons said.

"The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook's entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations," Simons said.

The company issued a statement Wednesday in the wake of the settlement announcement.

"The agreement will require a fundamental shift in the way we approach our work and it will place additional responsibility on people building our products at every level of the company. It will mark a sharper turn toward privacy, on a different scale than anything we've done in the past," Facebook's statement said.

"The accountability required by this agreement surpasses current U.S. law and we hope will be a model for the industry. It introduces more stringent processes to identify privacy risks, more documentation of those risks, and more sweeping measures to ensure that we meet these new requirements," Facebook said.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Facebook to pay record-breaking $5B penalty over violating users' privacy

'The accountability required by this agreement surpasses current U.S. law', social media giant says in statement

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Jul 25, 2019, 11:19 am

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced that the Menlo Park-based social media giant Facebook Inc. will pay a record-breaking $5 billion penalty for violating users' privacy.

The penalty is part of a settlement Facebook made to settle charges that the company violated a 2012 FTC order "by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information," FTC officials wrote in a news release.

Facebook was accused of using deceptive disclosures and settings that allowed the company to share users' personal information with third-party apps.

It is the largest-ever penalty imposed on a company for consumer privacy violations and is one of the largest ever assessed by the federal government.

The settlement also requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy and strengthens oversight by an independent assessor.

"Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers' choices," FTC chairman Joe Simons said.

"The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook's entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations," Simons said.

The company issued a statement Wednesday in the wake of the settlement announcement.

"The agreement will require a fundamental shift in the way we approach our work and it will place additional responsibility on people building our products at every level of the company. It will mark a sharper turn toward privacy, on a different scale than anything we've done in the past," Facebook's statement said.

"The accountability required by this agreement surpasses current U.S. law and we hope will be a model for the industry. It introduces more stringent processes to identify privacy risks, more documentation of those risks, and more sweeping measures to ensure that we meet these new requirements," Facebook said.

Comments

whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2019 at 12:45 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2019 at 12:45 pm

A pittance, and a joke.


Not a Fan of Facebook
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm
Not a Fan of Facebook, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm

I hope the new data privacy laws coming in 2020 put Facebook out of business. As this decision shows, we've been zucked by Mark Zuckerberg for too long.


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2019 at 1:19 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Not a Fan
Not until I sell my house.


Brian
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 25, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 25, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Personally I have no problem with Facebook at all. I do find it funny that the FTC cracks down on them for privacy concerns "by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information and that in congressional hearing the representative and senate bring up their grave concerns over privacy. If you look at how many times government agencies have been hacked and lost user data or had a Laptop and/or hard drive with massive amounts of user data stolen it far exceeds Facebook. The Congress has direct responsibility for these agencies and making sure data is secure but fail to protect that data. I know politicians are pretty much all hypocrites and would prefer to go after high profile private businesses instead of actually doing their jobs. This is just more proof of that...

here are a few examples:
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: 26.5 Million Affected (May 2006)
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): 76 Million Affected (October 2009)
U.S. Voter Database: 191 Million Affected (December 2015)


Andrew
Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jul 27, 2019 at 11:37 am
Andrew, Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jul 27, 2019 at 11:37 am

As long as I am in control, Facebook will never be accessible in this house until the day I pass.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.