A fine of up to five billion dollars, this is what Facebook has announced that it anticipates to pay for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the British political consultancy, which had Steve Bannon as vice president.
During the 2016 presidential election and the Brexit referendum, it had access to information personal data of around 87 million social network users without their consent.
In the case of Cambridge Analytica, about 87 million users saw unauthorized access to their personal information by the policy consulting firm after their collection by an application developer.
“Facebook is facing a critical moment and the only way to achieve this will be through an order from the FTC with tough penalties and other sanctions that will put an end to this type of misconduct in privacy”, said Sen. Democrat Richard Blumenthal (Conn.).
The FTC opened its Facebook inquiry for the first time last March after the Cambridge Analytica violation and other subsequent violations, such as a hacker who could have accessed data from 29 million accounts in the following months.
Previously, the major fine ever imposed by the FTC on any tech giant was of $ 22.5 million fine on Google in 2012. The regulators stated that the search giant had followed the users of Apple’s Safari web browser. It should be noted that the agency has had larger regulations on other issues.
The FTC reached a $ 1.2 billion deal with pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in 2015 to resolve the antitrust violations it had acquired by Cephalon.
It would be the largest amount of penalty the FTC has ever imposed on any technology company. But according to the Washington Post, the specific amount of the fine remains to be determined.
Mark Zuckerberg’s group has already set aside three billion dollars for the fine from quarterly accounts announced yesterday after the closure of Wall Street. The provision weighed heavily on the company’s accounts, despite 26% revenue growth in the period.
The active monthly users of Facebook have risen by 8%, equal to 2.38 billion people, better than the estimates of 2.37 billion. Daily users rose by 8% to 1.56 billion. Zuckerberg’s company has beaten analysts’ estimates.