The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Facebook $5 billion for various privacy scandals. In addition, the social medium must take various measures to prevent future problems.

The fine follows an investigation by the FTC, which began after it became clear that Cambridge Analytica misused the data of 87 million Facebook users to create political profiles. That’s what Ars Technica reports.

At least tens of millions of U.S. users relied on Facebook’s misleading privacy settings and statements to restrict the sharing of their data, according to the complaint. That while developers from third parties were able to access their data and collect the data from friends who were using third party apps.

Other scandals

In addition, Facebook has violated an earlier order by misleading users about their ability to opt-out of the use of facial recognition.

In addition, Facebook used the phone numbers that users submitted for two-step verification for advertising purposes. This problem is also mentioned in the FTC’s conclusion.

Finally, according to the FTC, the fact that the social medium stored the passwords of users without encryption is unacceptable.

Penalty and conditions

Facebook is not only fined, but also has to comply with various conditions. First of all, a new governance structure needs to be set up to assess user privacy for the company’s services – and those of Instagram and WhatsApp. An independent privacy committee must be set up for this purpose by the board of directors.

Special compliance officers will be responsible for dealing with privacy compliance at the company. Only the committee can remove these officers from office. CEO Mark Zuckerberg can’t do that. In addition, a third party will regularly monitor data collection practices over the next twenty years.

Zuckerberg and the compliance officers are also required to provide the FTC with privacy certifications on a quarterly and annual basis. This is to ensure that Facebook complies with the law. Other conditions include rules for facial recognition, setting up a data security program and more oversight on third parties.

New research

In addition, Facebook announced in the announcement of the figures for the second quarter of 2019 that the FTC has started a new investigation into the company, writes The Verge. It is now a competition investigation.

This research is in addition to the large-scale competition investigation that the American Ministry of Justice is conducting into all the large tech companies in the country.

The quarterly figures show that Facebook is doing well despite the fines and scandals. The company saw its turnover increase by 28 percent last quarter compared to the previous year, to 16.9 billion dollars. The number of daily and monthly active users increased by 8 percent to 1.59 billion and 2.41 billion people.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.