FTC places $5 billion dollar slap on the wrist to Facebook for privacy violations

mark zuckerberg facebook congressional testimony 3

In what can be seen as the biggest reprimand that the FTC has imposed on a company, Facebook will be fined $ 5 billion and asked to make seemingly significant changes in its level of responsibility and transparency Regarding privacy restrictions.

the new penalty occurs amid the consequences of a violation of the 2012 FTC regarding the company "cheating users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information."

Information and the degree to which you share personal information, such as names and dates of birth, with third parties. He also demanded that Facebook maintain a reasonable privacy program that protects the privacy and confidentiality of user information.

The Facebook rule that breaks the twenty-year resolution fine also comes with stipulations aimed at curbing the company's privacy violations, as an attempt to keep the organization from making powerful unilateral decisions by creating multiple Compliance authorization channels, although mostly internal structures. Under the proposed revision, Facebook would establish an "independent board of directors privacy committee" that, in theory, would mitigate the authorized decision making of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

According to the recently published FTC press release:

As part of the privacy program required by Facebook's request, which covers WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook must conduct a review of the privacy of each product, service or new or modified practice before implementation, and document your decisions about user privacy. Designated compliance officers must generate a quarterly privacy review report, which they must share with the CEO and the independent advisor, as well as with the FTC at the agency's request. The order also requires that Facebook document the incidents when the data of 500 or more users have been compromised and their efforts to resolve them, and deliver this documentation to the Commission and the advisor within 30 days after the discovery of the incident by the company. [19659004] In addition, the order imposes important new privacy requirements, including the following:

  • Facebook must exercise greater oversight over third-party applications, including by terminating application developers who do not certify that they comply with the Facebook platform policies or do not comply. justify your need for specific user data;
  • Facebook is prohibited from using phone numbers obtained to enable a security feature (for example, two-factor authentication) for advertising;
  • Facebook must provide a clear and visible notice of its use of facial recognition technology, and obtain the user's express consent before any use that materially exceeds its prior disclosure to users;
  • Facebook must establish, implement and maintain a comprehensive data security program;
  • Facebook must encrypt user passwords and scan regularly to detect if passwords are stored in plain text; and
  • Facebook is prohibited from requesting email passwords to other services when consumers subscribe to its services.

At first glance, these are all admirable concessions requested by the FTC, but even FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and others have pointed out that, while $ 5 billion is a large amount of capital for a company, Facebook will finally run in a version similar to the one that now has little active FTC supervision.

Slaughter believes the current penalty is insufficient due to repeated Facebook privacy violations, does not allow much. the application by third parties, and still recently to hold Facebook officials accountable. Instead, Slaughter would like to accuse Mark Zuckerberg specifically for privacy violations in open litigation.

At the end of the day, the FTC finally filed a formal complaint with Facebook and recovered $ 5 billion from the company. However, the effectiveness of the restrictive application of the FTC in the coming months remains to be seen, much less in twenty-five years.

Additional reading: Facebook, FTC, Mark Zuckerberg

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