Facebook US Settlement Could Impose 20 Years Of Oversight

Facebook is nearing a settlement with US regulators over its privacy and data practices that would put it under 20 years of oversight, Reuters reported.

The deal with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would resolve a probe into whether it violated a similar pact dating from 2011, which Facebook said it did not.

The probe centres on Facebook’s handling of last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the now-defunct political consultancy allegedly misappropriated data on some 87 million users.

Under the 2011 consent decree, Facebook, agreed to keep user data private except after obtaining explicit consent, and to other conditions, including conduct audits by a third party every two years for a period of 20 years.


Some politicians and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes have pointed out that the 2011 arrangement failed to prevent the Cambridge Analytica incident from occurring.

They have called for more stringent measures, such as forcing Facebook to sell off properties such as the WhatsApp messaging system, acquired in 2014, and Instagram, which it bought in 2012.

Facebook has reportedly been in negotiations with the FTC for several months, and last month set aside $3 billion (£2.32bn) for what it said could be a fine totalling $3bn to $5bn.

No deal is expected this week, and any settlement could be a month away, according to unnamed people cited by Reuters.

Last week US senators Richard Blumenthal and Josh Hawley wrote to the FTC criticising aspects of a potential settlement, such as elevating oversight of privacy policies and practices to the board level and requiring Facebook to be more aggressive in policing its nominal policies.

They said even a $5bn fine would be too little and said top officials, possibly including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, should be held personally responsible.

Several governments, including the UK, have indicated they want social media firms to be more closely regulated.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Tesla Wins Case Against Former Staffer Who Stole Data

Tesla wins court case against former employee at Tesla's Giga Nevada factory, who hacked systems…

2 days ago

Patient Dies In Germany After Hospital Ransomware Attack

Real world consequence of ransomware attacks. A female patient has died as a result of…

3 days ago

Tesla Driver Charged For Sleeping As Car Drove At 90mph

Unbelievable! Driver in Canada charged with dangerous driving, after he slept in fully reclined seat…

3 days ago

ByteDance Majority Stake Puts Oracle-TikTok Deal At Risk – Report

Plan to keep majority stake in TikTok, will hinder White House approval reports suggest, as…

3 days ago

Nintendo Shuts the Lid On 3DS

Nearly a decade after it first launched, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo discontinues its popular 3DS…

3 days ago

Aussie Regulator Refuses To Back Down After Facebook News Warning

Blunt warning from Facebook about blocking news sharing down under, receives equally blunt response from…

3 days ago