Facebook Settles Federal Privacy Probe For $5 Billion

The Verge reports:

The Federal Trade Commission formally announced its $5 billion settlement with Facebook on Wednesday morning, which is the culmination of a years-long investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy breaches.

In the agreement filed today, the FTC alleges that Facebook violated the law by failing to protect data from third parties, serving ads through the use of phone numbers provided for security, and lying to users that its facial recognition software was turned off by default.

In order to settle those charges, Facebook will pay $5 billion — the second-largest fine ever levied by the FTC — and agree to a series of new restrictions on its business.

Politico reports:

The $5 billion fine, though, is far lower than the sum that agency employees had initially discussed seeking to collect from Facebook — a figure that could have been greater than $30 billion, according to a House Judiciary Committee aide briefed on the negotiations.

FTC officials “had been discussing a much more substantial fine, so I’m very disappointed” with the $5 billion figure, House antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) told POLITICO in an interview Tuesday.