News Roundup: Facebook cops record $5 billion penalty over privacy blunders
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News Roundup: Facebook cops record $5 billion penalty over privacy blunders

Facebook's $5 billion penalty

Facebook is certainly no stranger to record breaking figures, but this week the company achieved one in the worst possible way. The US Federal Trade Commission formally announced its settlement with the social media giant, revealing it will be required to pay a massive (USD) $5 billion penalty, which is largest ever levied against a tech company. The penalty comes after the FTC's investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy breaches.

The agreement filed by the FTC alleges Facebook violated the law by failing to protect data from third parties, serving ads through the use of phone numbers that users provided on a basis of security, and lying to users regarding its facial recognition software. Along with the FTC's announcement of the charge, Facebook confirmed the amount and an FTC antitrust investigation of the company in an earnings report on Wednesday.

Facebook will also be required to conduct a privacy review of any new product or service it develops, with the FTC stipulating that reviews are submitted to the CEO and a third-party assessor every quarter. As well as this, the company will be required to obtain purpose and use certifications from applications and third-party developers that seek to use Facebook user data, which is a stipulation that relates directly to Cambridge Analytica.

In a statement, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said, "The Order imposes a privacy regime that includes a new corporate governance structure, with corporate and individual accountability and more rigorous compliance monitoring.

"The new privacy regime requires several different mandatory information flows about privacy decisions through multiple internal and external channels of compliance, so that if there is breakdown in one or more channels, another channel can identify the problem and fix it."

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Pat Martlew

Patrick Martlew is a technology enthusiast and editorial guru that works the digital enterprise beat in London. After making his tech writing debut in Sydney, he has now made his way to the UK where he works to cover the very latest trends and provide top-grade expert analysis.

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