Facebook will pay $5 billion to settle privacy allegations

Mark Zuckerberg owned Facebook Inc is set to pay USD$ 5 billion to settle allegations of user privacy. The  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be announcing the same on Wednesday.

As part of the settlement, Facebook will be forced to create a board committee on privacy and was asked to agree to new executive certifications that users’ privacy is being properly protected.

Also, the agreement asks Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Chief Executive to certify every three months that the company is properly safeguarding user privacy.

The government’s privacy probe had found out that Facebook misled users about its handling of their phone numbers and its use of two-factor authentication, among many other complaints.

In addition, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission may ask Facebook to pay up USD$ 100 million in fines for failing to disclose risks to investors over its privacy practices.

FTC also plans to allege Facebook provided insufficient information to about 30 million users about a facial recognition tool, an issue identified earlier by Consumer Reports.

The positives of the settlement for Facebook, is FTC won’t ask Facebook to admit guilt. The settlement will however, require approval from a federal judge and will contain other significant allegations of privacy lapses.

This billion dollar settlement comes at a time amid growing concerns over user privacy of online users. Policymakers around the world are launching probes against tech giants over user data protection.

In 2018, when FTC began probing Facebook over inappropriately sharing user information belonging to 87 million users with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Republican Senator, Marsha Blackburn criticised the USD$ 5 billion penalty and said the fine should be USD$ 50 billion.

Source : Various