Facebook fined US$5 billion by FTC over privacy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has given Facebook a record penalty of US$5 billion for mishandling user personal data. After more than a year of negotiations, Facebook and the FTC agreed on a settlement which also includes the creation by Facebook of a privacy council, and new security measures. According to CNET, the privacy council will meet at the board-of-directors level, and will be composed of independent members. Facebook will also have to regularly conduct privacy reviews of all its services. According to  the Verge, the fine is frustrating for anyone hoping this settlement might change Facebook’s behavior. For Senator Richard Blumenthal, ‘this tap on the wrist, not even a slap, makes Congressional action all the more urgent to set strong privacy rules and enforce them vigorously”. In addition to this fine, Facebook must also pay US$100 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for making misleading disclosures regarding the risks of misuse of user data.