The US data regulator, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has announced that it intends to fine Facebook $5 billion for its part in the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.
The fine that Facebook received from the UK’s ICO , coming pre-GDPR, was a mere £500,000 – but despite this being a huge amount more, many feel that it’s inadequate.
Here’s what Dave Lee, the BBC North America technology reporter had to say about it:
Facebook had been expecting this. It told investors back in April that it had put aside most of the money, which means the firm won’t feel much added financial strain from this penalty.
What we don’t yet know is what additional measures may be placed on the company, such as increased privacy oversight, or if there will be any personal repercussions for the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
The settlement, which amounts to around one quarter of the company’s yearly profit, will reignite criticism from those who say this amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist.
You can read the full news report here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48972327
It’s notable that the fine was only just passed by the FTC by 3 votes to 2, with those voting against it stating that it was insufficient, even though it would be the biggest ever brought by the FTC against a tech company.
Perhaps the most shocking thing is that Facebook shares actually rose 1.8% at the news, with investors receiving the news positively.
The debate will go on, but many will continue to think that Facebook got off lightly with just a $5 billion fine. If this had come under GDPR, it would likely have been in a great deal of trouble.
As it is, a mere £500,000 from the ICO – a record at the time, until the recent British Airways fine of £183 million – seems hardly worth mentioning.