Facebook has reportedly agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to reports, the social network has agreed to pay out a hefty US$5 billion (~RM20.57 billion) for an investigation over the handling of the company’s user data and privacy.
Specifically, the settlement envelops the scandal that saw the personal information of 87 million users that was compromised and used unethically by the now-defunct Cambridge Analytica consulting firm. On a sidenote, the settlement does not appear to cover other privacy and data issues. Including saving more than 600 million Instagram passwords in plain text, a hacker attack that saw Facebook login credentials being sold on the Dark Web. Or when it was discovered to be sharing its user data to major technology brands, including Netflix, Microsoft, and Spotify, to name just a few.
The settlement is said to be the largest civil penalty ever to be paid to an agency, let alone the FTC. However, The settlement clearly elated several Facebook investors and saw the company’s shares rise by 1.8%. Unsurprisingly as well, not all in the US government were happy with the settlement. Especially lawmakers from the US Democratic party, saying that the fine amount is the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.
Facebook isn’t the only tech company to be fined by a country’s governing body. Earlier this year, Google was fined €1.49 billion (~RM69.2 billion) by the European Union (EU) for breaking European Antitrust Laws. Even worse for the search engine, the European Commission’s Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said that the company would be subjugated to further investigations.