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Facebook agrees to pay record-breaking fine

by Leah Hickman
Posted 7/25/19, 12:22 pm

The Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 billion Wednesday as a settlement for the company’s privacy violations. The fine breaks the record set in 2017 when the FTC penalized Dish Network $168 million, but some commissioners said Facebook’s fine isn’t high enough: The cost is only about a third of the company’s quarterly earnings.

What was Facebook’s offense? The fine is for Facebook’s recurring privacy violations, including the accidental leak of 87 million users’ data to political firm Cambridge Analytica—an issue that Facebook failed to report for two years. The settlement requires Facebook to submit quarterly compliance reports to the FTC and have a third party assess the social media giant’s privacy-related decisions. Earlier this year, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes said, “I'm angry that [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s] focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks.”

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Leah Hickman

Leah is a reporter for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Hillsdale College graduate. Leah resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Follow her on Twitter @leahmhickman.

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