Regulators in the United States met recently to discuss the possibility of imposing fines on Facebook Inc. The potential fines are for violations regarding an agreement with the U.S. government to protect the personal information of its users. This information was shared on Friday by individuals who attended the meeting.
Facebook has been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for the past year. The investigation is not yet complete and no information on the findings are available at this time.
A source familiar with the investigation says Facebook has been in contact with the FTC over the matter but has not commented on the proceedings.
It is also not clear at this time if Facebook will be will agree to a settlement with the FTC. Any financial penalty imposed is expected to be for a higher amount than the $22.5 million levied against Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google seven years ago.
The investigation by the FTC has been slowed by the government shutdown and the organization has not responded to the many media outlet searching for information regarding the probe. The commission, known for its secrecy, made an unusual move a year ago when it informed the public of the investigation involving the social media giant.
The announced investigation came on the heels of media reports involving the lack of oversight by Facebook. Security breaches within the company are said to have resulted in a quiz app being able to gather sensitive information on more than 85 million Facebook users. The personal information was eventually given to Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm from the UK that is now defunct.
Facebook has self-reported other lapses in security since the breach that involved the quiz app. These reports have resulted in further scrutiny from regulators across the globe. It is unclear what Facebook has done to address these concerns at this time.