Facebook and officials at the Federal Trade Commission are in discussions right now negotiating a multibillion-dollar fine to settle the agency’s investigation into the company’s past privacy practices, according to The Washington Post. It would be the largest fine the FTC has ever levied on a tech company. But according to the Post, the fine’s specific amount has yet to be determined.
As it stands, the largest fine ever imposed by the FTC was a $22.5 million penalty on Google back in 2012 after regulators determined the search giant had tracked users of Apple’s Safari web browser after saying explicitly that it wouldn’t do so.
That same year, Facebook entered into a consent decree with the FTC, agreeing that it would no longer deceive its users by telling them that certain information on their profiles would remain private. The fee would likely be a consequence of breaches like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the company was found negligent in its oversight of the ways third-party applications access user data on the platform. In the case of Cambridge Analytica, around 87 million users had their private information accessed by the political consulting firm after it was collected by an app maker and then packaged and sold.
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