FTC Imposes the Largest Fine in Tech Firm History

The dust has settled, and so has the FTC.

The Scandal

For those who are unfamiliar, in 2018 Facebook found itself in quite the scandal with London’s election consultancy, Cambridge Analytica. It is believed personal data was harvested from approximately 87 million Facebook users and then supplied to Cambridge Analytica. They then, allegedly, used this data to show certain information on U.S. presidential election candidates. This led to concerns of meddling in the election because it is believed this information was displayed to sway Facebook users’ perceptions of the candidates.

Now, as a result, a $5 billion fine has been issued against the social media giant, for this privacy breach.

This fine is the highest issued to a technology firm.

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32 thoughts on “FTC Imposes the Largest Fine in Tech Firm History

  1. If they made the fine larger–say, $10-20 Billion–and forced Mark Zuckerberg to pay it directly out of his pocket instead of from the company’s assets with a warning that next time it’d be twice the amount, I’d be willing to bet things would change. Until then, Facebook will just continue to make Mark Z. one of the wealthiest people on the planet by selling your privacy for his profit.

    I don’t do Facebook and never have. Remember, when the product is free then you are the product!!

  2. I got suspended from twitter for endorsing Barron Trump for President. All social media can go straight to hell!

  3. Yes, Facebook DOES produce something….entertainment. And advertisers like to pay for interrupting your entertainment to give you information about their products–or their candidates. FB earns it’s money fair and square. If the people who are enjoying the entertainment that it offers are all angry that they were foolish enough to not protect their anonymity,that’s a real shame. Be more careful of what you reveal…and what you believe!

  4. Funny how the government always ends up with the money! They did that with Toyota…remember the big fine they zapped them with for selling an unsafe product? I guess they figure that they will spend that money on more government which is really a “reward” to the public at large. Please. How much more ridiculous can things get?

  5. The fine is too low. The fines needs to be at least in part to go to those affected. Sure, the government had a cost but not $5 billion in cost for attorneys, personel–maybe a few million so I would change the law, the one bringing the suit at most 1/2 and the other half divided among the victims.

    Google is too big. Facebook is too big, etc.,

  6. TRANSLATION: Revenue Generating Expedition. It was “agreed” to when Mr. Zuckerberg went to visit Congress while he was “lobbying” in Washington D.C.

    Facebook has 87 MILLION users? REALLY!?!

    Facebook generates more than $5 billion in revenue? HOW when it DOESN’T produce anything!?!

    THIS wreaks of “False” news.

    Just sayin’

  7. Whatever you put on Facebook turns into public information unless you send it on private message only. Better yet send it by snail mail or by fax and keep it to yourself until you meet in person

  8. no to all the above…..

    In it’s simplicity, this is only symptom of my, (our), (we) individual complacency. There is only one accountable for all this….ourselves…..

    This is only a fraction of the erosion, surrendered consumer rights. Just look at, ANY product or service, much less try to read the EULA, you have given up any right to ownership of any data, and give permission it be collected (however collected), the right to address any wrong, or damage in any judicial arena (binding arbitration, not even in your own state). It’s now past the point that one can’t even choose to use any other digital platforms (Microsoft).
    Back to the EULA, remember you are only purchasing a licensee to USE not own that product or service, we tolerate any and all abuses written into these agreement(s) either you are forced agree to be abused or you go without……We no longer have any competitive choices. And this goes across the entire spectrum of our society….

    I do agree with one reply above…….. it’s all bout the wheel of government………….

    • Right on Leo! Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft…a very few ruling good ole’ boys who all are overseeing everything we use in technology! I believe all people would be horrified by what these guys can do in their tight relationships!

  9. One Govt official said this is just a “slap on the wrist” of Google. What?! They can afford that kind of penalty and not even feel it on their bottom line? Holy moly. They are way too big then. And like you said, Lary Breeding, the Govt gets the money and the people hurt get diddly squat. Google had more influence on the 2016 election than Russia ever thought of. All if that money trying to stop Conservatives from having any of their views represented? All of that money spent trying to get a totally corrupt person like Killery elected and it still failed (thank goodness). If the public really knew what horrific dirty tricks and illegal activity went on and continues even now in our Fed Govt, they would be sickened. But we will never find the true depths of depravity these people are willing to sink to for money and power. When a kind, sweet young man like Seth Rich is murdered for trying to expose just a small part of the Clinton cabal, it is beyond all reason. This money should be used to investigate his murder and others connected to Clinton who have died under very mysterious conditions, like shot twice in the back of the head being ruled suicide.

  10. The fine was brought against Cambridge Analytica but what about Facebook who supplied the data to them? Why wasn’t there a demand that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica “reimburse” all of the Facebook customer’s who had their data “misappropriated?” The problem with government fines is that they go to the government, who wasn’t wronged, instead of the people who were wronged.

  11. It was somewhere back in the 1200’s or 1300’s, I think, that the king determined that a crime against a citizen was a crime against the body politic – i.e. the king. That is when fines started going to the government rather than to the aggrieved person.

    This is indeed only a money grab.

  12. @Fred W King:

    Funny the other responders didn’t even hint that direction…

    If the people who were wronged don’t see any relief, then this was just another government money grab, and an insult to the American people who elected or hired the government employees that demanded 5 Billion dollars just so they could spend it unwisely.

    At a minimum there should be a government sponsored education site that trains people to not trust websites and services to keep their data private. (And how to decide what data they can safely share)

    Yahoo dodged a bullet, being sold to Verizon via it’s AOL brand name, after a couple big data breaches.

    I do have a Facebook account, but it isn’t my actual name, actual date of birth, or any other actual data, other than my account photo. My friends know who I am, and that is the only people who need to know who’s account they are posting to.

    Facebook still doesn’t mark my brother as family, because we never use terms like that in messages and posts. Nothing that would be linkable data.

    I have to laugh at those who said I was paranoid not using my actual name. I get all the benefits of the platform, with almost none of the drawbacks. So what if people wish me a happy birthday on my brother’s birthday… That just serves as a reminder for me to give him a call. 😉

    Facebook is evil, even if there is a veneer of utility and the appearance of openness.

    I doubt the fine will go to good use.

    That’s the saddest part in this story… Money is taken from one criminal, by another, and is more likely to hurt people even worse when it is used to buy millitary equipment for police or some equally insane government scheme. I won’t name the party, most of us know which one it is.

    Anyway, not sure how a simple fine, without regard to amount, will do anything to cause change where it’s needed.

    Appeal forthcoming, I would assume. Can’t imagine anyone with a 5 billion dollar fine not trying to weasle out of it, greasing the right palms.

  13. No data ownership issues with stock symbol TTCM and the Arknet technology. Search it out! Also I’m investing on Monday.

  14. Decades ago, had hackers been charged for the costs created by their hacking, it would not be nearly so attractive.
    These companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook and the like have used and abused their patrons far too long, and it is about time they payed for their abuses.

  15. Agree that the fine should be much more, also agree that the ceo’s should be held accountable for the actions of their corporations with personal fines and jail time. And any politician found conspiring should face the same penalties. Then would giants like Fb and Google would be brought back under control and people would not be subjected to their leftist political beliefs or blocking of anyone who disagrees otherwise.

  16. Totally agree with the previous commenters! The outrageous attempts by the likes of Facebook, Google, etc. to cash in on selling our personal information to the highest bidder and throttling any comments and conversations these self appointed arbiters decide do not meet their leftist ideologue standards is a serious threat to our democracy. The crime may be white collar in nature but far more harmful in its impact. It is way overdue that the individuals who allow this to happen are held to account for the enormous damage they do compared to the impact of a common criminal act.

  17. Agree with Dave H… . Unless and until we hold people responsible it will never stop. Jail time for those at fault.

  18. Fred W. King…
    Amen, bruddah! In this scheme of things, Fed Gov could ignore such breaches until they became flagrant enough to merit imposing a billion-dollar fine! This could become a reliable income stream from perfidious tech companies. Let’s call our Senators!

  19. The company just writes this off as a cost of doing business. In order to make a real impact on corporate behavior, PEOPLE must be held accountable. When some executives are faced with jail time, then we will see corporate action.

    • I agree, it seems in these times the prevalent attitude towards one being responsible for one’s actions is nonexistent and if questioned all you will get in response is denial or actually being accused of wrongdoing yourself.

  20. Agree 100% the funds should BE used to put in controls on FB and Google for their attempts to silence right pilitical groups in their “Thought Control” engineering attempts. They ARE out if control and should be broken up just as Bell Telephone was.

  21. Who gets the money? Those that were wronged, or the government? Because if the government gets it, the wronged were wronged twice!

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