$ 5 Billion FTC on Fone Alone doesn't get Facebook Facebook from Crosshairs

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He is moving closer to solving his privacy effort at his chief US regulator. but not likely to receive the extreme fine she prepared the social media giant from Washington's hot political seat.

The Federal Trade Commission has voted the company to fine about $ 5 billion for violations of its previous commitments to protect the privacy of users, reported the Wall Street Journal on Friday, citing people who had been outgoing. of them on the subject. The FTC vote on the deal was divided 3-2 along party lines by the Republican controlled agency, the people said, a sign that Democratic commissioners were not of the view that the settlement was quite intensive.

Facebook's other political and regulatory issues are in earlier stages. Next week, the social media giant is launching executives to two Capitol Hill hearing: one that examines whether action is needed to boost the market power of high-tech companies, and another focused on Libra, the cryptocurrency intends to Facebook launched with corporate partners.

Last week, President Trump criticized social media companies at the White House event and suggested that regulatory proposals could come forward. Abroad, the Irish privacy regulator is undertaking only 10 investigations relating to the collection and processing of Facebook personal data.

Both party law makers have indicated that they would look at a $ 5 billion payment sent to the United States. The Exchequer is too weak, and an early response to the BTI agreement suggests that it does not start behind policies aimed at Facebook and other large technology firms.

“I don't want to pay a $ 5 billion settlement, but it's a company that generates multiples of that quarter,” said Senator Mark Warner (D., Va.) In an interview, referring to Facebook, $ The first quarter of the year was 15.08 billion.

Mr Warner said that structural changes are needed to improve how Facebook and other large technology companies operate in relation to personal data, the spread of misrepresentation and other issues.

“FTC fines may not change behavior, and certainly don't change the incentives,” he said.

Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.), Showed in recent weeks, concerns about Facebook privacy practices and urged the FTC to take action to protect user data.

Law-makers also asked the Congress to consider new privacy limits, although it is unlikely that any legislative proposals will soon go.

The arrangement is expected to impose other requirements on Facebook but these terms are not yet known. The agreement was not formally advertised and it may not be for weeks.

Facebook and the FTC refused to comment.

Maureen Ohlhausen, a former FTC commissioner who was leader until April last year, said criticism of the discussion showed more political battle lines around Facebook than any facts in the case.

The Democrats who voted against the settlement say “shaking the spear and saying that they were stricter without being sure that the BTI would not be worried in litigation,” she said.

Facebook looked to move over the scrutiny with a series of ads earlier this year. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook would focus on providing tools for private communications and that it would support privacy legislation worldwide in line with European general data protection regulations.

Senior Facebook employees privately argued that the allegations prompted by the FTC Facebook probe have kept the bag wrongly on industry concerns about privacy, misrepresentation and behavioral advertising.

In discussions with employees and outside people, Facebook executives blamed media coverage for a scandal arising from data extracted from a personality's projected personality.

The FTC search began after revealing last year that an app owner scraped personal data on thousands and millions of Facebook users and their friends, and shared it with the political advisory body Cambridge Analytica. The app violated Facebook policies, but the event highlighted the lax controls on Facebook apps.

Cambridge Analytica spent personal data to help political campaigners influence voters. He worked for a number of Republican campaigns in 2016, including President Trump. Since then, he closed down questions about his tactics and data handling – and about whether his services were effective or not.

After the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Facebook also revealed other commas, including last year which exposed millions of accounts.

The company already has a privacy team designed to vest all significant new products before it is publicly implemented, and under the decree of FTC consent 2011 agreed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP on ongoing privacy audits.

These audits found no sign of trouble on Facebook – and the company's critics made it widely that Facebook's internal privacy controls were operating efficiently. It is estimated that the fine cites approximately $ 5 billion FTC breaches of the earlier 2011 agreement.

“The cost of doing business is five billion,” said Marc Rotenberg, one of the Electronic Information Information Center, who has pushed for greater regulatory scrutiny of Facebook's privacy practices.

“If they get some serious new privacy obligations, that would be interesting. If they get governance reform, it would be interesting. What would not be interesting would be additional third party reporting, as this was already established in the 2011 decree of consent. ”

Ms. Ohlhausen, former FTC commissioner, limited the importance of specifying the 2011 deal. Now a lawyer for Baker Botts, who represents Facebook in intellectual property litigation, said that the FTC has needed more stringent supervisory terms for consent decrees in recent years.

The ongoing audit of the FTC will not end the ongoing scrutiny of Facebook's privacy mismatches in the United States and the European Union. However, it prevents Mr Zuckerberg's terrible prospect of greater oversight of privacy worldwide and that he would co-operate simultaneously with the primary privacy regulator.

Write Ryan Tracy at ryan.tracy@wsj.com

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