Facebook Privacy Settlement To Include Federal Oversight – Report


Facebook reportedly faces having a federal privacy official on its board, as part of settlement deal with FTC

Facebook is reportedly facing a significant development in the official investigation being carried out by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC investigation began in March 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and centres on whether the scandal meant that Facebook had violated a 2012 privacy agreement.

Facebook has already announced that it has set aside as much as $3 billion to deal with a possible FTC fine, but it has also warned that the fine could be as much as $5 billion.

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Federal oversight

But it doesn’t stop there, after Politico (citing unnamed sources), reported that Facebook and the FTC are negotiating a possible settlement that would require the company to place a federal privacy executive at the company’s highest levels

This would be on top of any multi billion fine that is levied against the social networking giant.

In addition, Facebook would also have to create an “independent” privacy oversight committee that may include Facebook board members, which would meet quarterly and issue periodic reports on the company’s privacy practices.

And the potential deal with the FTC would also see Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg being made personally accountable for Facebook’s handling of the issue. This would entail him taking on the role “designated compliance officer” responsible for carrying out the company’s privacy policies.

The Politico report also said that the settlement would allow the FTC to “essentially” have veto power over the choice of the federally approved privacy executive, called an “assessor.”

There has been no official comment from Facebook and the FTC.

Other investigations

Facebook is facing multiple investigations from multiple agencies in the United States.

In March federal prosecutors reportedly began a criminal investigation into the firm’s data-sharing agreements.

This was after it emerged that leading tech firms and brands such as Amazon, Apple, Spotify, Microsoft and Netflix had struck deals with Facebook to harvest the personal data of millions of its users, including private messages.

And the Justice Department’s securities fraud unit has also reportedly begun an investigation over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

That investigation is reportedly being run by prosecutors from the Northern District of California.

In March Zuckerberg outlined a “vision” for the future of social media that he said would hinge on privacy.

Quiz: Think you know all about Facebook?

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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