It would seem that the governments in countries all over the world have finally had enough of the behavior of Facebook. The social media giant has come under fire on four continents for their constant privacy violations. Facebook, which has 2.3 billion active users, is the most popular social network on the planet. It is because of its enormous popularity that it has been able to get away with many things that would have doomed smaller tech companies. However, regulators around the world are finally willing to stand up and take notice of Facebook’s misdeeds. What this means for the future of the company is not known at this point.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be fining Facebook between $3 billion and $5 billion. This fine will be imposed because Facebook violated a privacy settlement that is had agreed to eight years ago. It is the biggest FTC fine for a technology company in the United States. However, that massive fine might be just the beginning. European regulators have been taking a very close look at the business practices of Facebook for a very long time. Several large fines are rumored to be imposed in the coming weeks. Along with these fines will be very strict rules implemented about how Facebook is allowed to conduct business in European countries.
The legal problems for Facebook continue to mount. For example, it was just announced that the attorney general for the state of New York will be launching an investigation in an effort to find out how Facebook was able to obtain the email address books of roughly two million people without asking them for their permission. A lawsuit is already underway relating to the infamous Cambridge Analytica data scandal. This lawsuit was filed by the attorney general of Washington, D.C.
There were many Democratic politicians in the United States who believe that the fine that was imposed by the FTC against Facebook was not nearly big enough. The company is so large at this point that even $5 billion will not cause them any serious damage. Therefore, the concern is that the fine will not cause a change in the way that Facebook does their business. As a result, some of the politicians have suggested that various limitations be placed on Facebook to restrict the way they conduct business in certain areas. It remains to be seen if this will happen.