Facebook is the honorable recipient of the Federal Trade Commission’s largest fine ever imposed against a tech company. The FTC is making the social media giant pay $5 billion over 2018’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco, in which the consulting firm used a private database to develop millions of profiles about voters.
Officials are calling the settlement a “slap on the wrist” because $5 billion is peanuts for Facebook, which generates far more money annually. “It won’t make them think twice about their responsibility to protect user data.”
The FTC began probing Facebook in March 2018 following reports that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users. The agency was concerned that Facebook had violated the terms of a 2011 agreement, which required Facebook to give users very clear notifications when their data was being shared with third parties.