Facebook and authorities at the Federal Trade Commission are in talks right now negotiating a multimillion-dollar fine to settle the agency’s investigation concerning the company’s past privacy practices, as per The Washington Post. It would be the largest fine the FTC has ever levied on a tech company. Yet, as per the Post, the fine's specific sum amount presently has yet to be determined.
The way things are, the largest fine at any point imposed by the FTC was a $22.5 million penalty on Google in 2012 after controllers determined the search engine giant had tracked users of Apple's Safari internet browser in the wake of saying explicitly that it wouldn't do as such.
That same year, Facebook went into a consent order with the FTC, concurring that it would no longer deceive its users by disclosing to them that specific data on their profiles would remain private. The charge would most likely be an outcome of breaches like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the organization was found negligent in its oversight of the ways third-party applications access user data on the platform. On account of Cambridge Analytica, around 87 million users had their private information accessed by the political consulting firm after it was gathered by an app maker and afterward bundled and sold.
The FTC previously opened its investigation probe into Facebook last March after the Cambridge Analytica breach and other subsequent breaches, similar to one where a hacker could access data from 29 million accounts in the next months. On the off chance that both Facebook and the FTC don't go to some sort of agreement over the fine, the agency could choose to bring Facebook to court over its past carelessness concerning user privacy.
A month ago, The Washington Post revealed that the FTC could push for a fine bigger than the $22 million it imposed on Google for Facebook, however, privacy and civil rights advocates contended that anything in the millions would be ineffective in convincing the enormous social networking company to correct its behavior. Organizations like the Open Market Institute and Color of Change wrote to the FTC requesting that it bump up the fine to at least $2 billion.
As per this new report, they may get their wish. It's unclear whether the FTC would ask for Facebook to divest its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp as a part of the deal. Likely, Facebook would not do as such, and the two bodies would be faced with a lengthy run through the courts as a result.