Facebook Expected To Pay $5 Billion Settlement To FTC

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It is expected that the Federal Trade Commission will make the details of a $5 billion settlement with Facebook available to the public as early as late this week. The settlement comes as a result of an investigation into the social media giant’s use and handling of user information.

Facebook, the Justice Department, and the FTC all chose not to comment on the matter.

The investigation by the FTC centers around allegations Facebook mishandled the personal information of more than 87 million users. The personal data of these users were made available to Britain’s Cambridge Analytica, a firm that provides political consulting to its clients.

Multiple media outlets reported on July 12 that the FTC had agreed to the settlement. It was believed at the time the FTC was waiting for the Justice Department to express their agreement with the terms of the agreement.

Restrictions from the United States government and more oversight into the handling of user data by Facebook is also expected with the ruling. The settlement would be the largest ever received by the FTC.

Some members of Congress have expressed criticism of the settlement amount due to the feeling that it is not sufficient to deter misconduct by such a wealthy entity. Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator, says Facebook netted more than $22 billion in 2018 alone. Senator Blackburn says $50 billion would be a more suitable figure.

The settlement would cure one present headache for Facebook. However, the company still has anti-trust probes from the Justice Department and FTC with which to contend. Its plan to release its own cryptocurrency has drawn the ire of President Donald Trump, as well as, high ranking officials across the globe.

The mistakes regarding Cambridge Analytica and complaints regarding hate speech on Facebook platforms has resulted in a charge led by high ranking politicians like Elizabeth Warren to force the company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp, companies purchased by Facebook in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

The controversy has not affected the business of Facebook as the company has exceeded projected earnings estimates for both completed quarters of 2019.

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