It looks like Facebook could be looking at a long period of scrutinization over its privacy policies and business practices by the US government’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 20 years of scrutiny, to be precise.
According to a report by Reuters, the social network recently agreed to an oversight by the US government, after the former was believed to lapsed in upholding its part of a consent pact. Agreed upon between Facebook and the FTC in 2011.
Part of the new oversight agreement will reportedly elevate oversight of privacy policies and practices to Facebook’s board of directors. Additionally, Facebook will also be required to display a greater sense of urgency and aggression in managing third-party app developers. A move that many US lawmakers have openly criticized.
To that end, US Senators from both the Democrats and Republican factions penned a letter to the FTC. Pointing out that the agreement and a US$5 billion (~RM20.86 billion) penalty seemed nothing more than a slap on the wrist for Facebook. And that they would ideally prefer if Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and several of his top officials were to be held personally responsible.
Facebook came under the watchful gaze of the FTC almost immediately after the social media giant’s fiasco with the now defunct UK-based political firm, Cambridge Analytica. To recap, the firm was caught in a massive scandal, whereby it was accused of inappropriately obtaining the personal data of 87 million Facebook users.
Then, earlier in the year, it was discovered that the social network had been secretly paying Facebook users between the age of 13 and 25 years a monthly fee of US$20 (~RM82). Just to install a “Facebook Research” VPN on both iOS and Android devices. A move which angered Apple, on the grounds that it violated the fruit company’s developer guidelines of harvesting user data for personal gain.