So it’s just in time for Facebook to face the biggest problem in this scandal of data loss where Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook will be making an appearance in front of Congress tomorrow to face backslash about the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier in March. Last week Facebook made an announcement that they used the search tools to collect data on their 2.2 billion users and they could be in the receiving end of their biggest loss. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can potentially impose heavy fines on Facebook for not preventing the risk of losing user data, as said by three officials. In 2011, the three officials of Federal Trade Commission conducted an investigation on the Facebook privacy policies and found them guilty of deceiving their users. They reportedly made the data of their users public which were promised to be kept private by them. So, FTC asked Facebook to follow certain policies stated by them in order to protect the users’ data to be kept safe. FTC stated – “Facebook should not make misinterpretations on the privacy and security of user’s personal information. It should obtain user’s permission before making any kind of changes to their privacy preferences”. FTC chairman at that time was Leibowitz also added that – “Facebook innovations should not be at the expense of the privacy concerns of its users. Facebook should keep hold of the promises it gives users on their private data. Federal Trade Commission will ensure that the privacy of users remains intact”. Surrounded with all this, Facebook came on a settlement with FTC regarding the privacy issues that the latter can impose heavy fines on them if found guilty.
FTC also confirmed that since the 2011 issue, they are conducting many such investigations regarding this. According to them, the maximum penalty which they can impose for violations this year will be $41,484. According to the Washington Post, with the estimated number of users affected in America which includes nearly all the people due to the data leakage by Cambridge Analytica, Federal Trade Commission can impose a fine of nearly $7.1 trillion. Interestingly, according to Federal Reserve, there are only $1.63 trillion of money in circulation.
Georgetown University professor, Vladeck said that, The FTC is trying to send a signal and that they take their consent decrees very seriously”. Facebook is at a high risk currently with the rising political problems they are facing in Washington D.C., Mark has been called to justify his part in the congress committee meet.
Obviously, its too unlikely that Federal Trade Commission will be imposing such a heavy, heavy fine on Facebook for leaking the user’s data to Cambridge Analytica. But, if Facebook is found guilty of the 2011 settlement with FTC, they may impose even a fraction of that amount and that may leave Facebook in a very serious problem. Facebook has reportedly denied commenting anything on this issue and has claimed that they have not violated the decree by sharing the user’s data with Cambridge Analytica.