Well it’s about damn time.
Courtesy of CNET:
Facebook is notching a record breaker. The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced that Facebook agreed to pay a $5 billion fine over privacy violations and its failure to inform tens of millions of users about a data leak that happened years ago. The fine is the largest the US regulator has levied against a tech company.
The settlement will require Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as other designated compliance officers, to certify that the company is taking steps to protect user privacy. A false statement could potentially expose them to penalties. The order also removes some of Zuckerberg’s control over privacy decisions by creating an independent privacy committee of the company’s board of directors.
“Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a release. “The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations.”
The multibillion-dollar fine — which is in addition to a $100 million settlement with the US Securities Exchange Commission — marks the first significant punishment Facebook has received for the storm of privacy and security scandals that have engulfed the company for more than a year. The issues, which range from the spread of fake news to improperly secured personal data, have prompted governments around the world to consider regulating social networks.
I would hope that this kind of thing would force Facebook to make some serious changes in who accesses our private information and how information is disseminated.
However I will wait to see if this actually makes any real difference.