Did Facebook Violate User Agreement

With Facebook, the F.T.C commissioned the social network to create a data protection committee independently appointed to its board of directors, which would review decisions affecting users` privacy. The Agency also ordered the appointment of compliance officials to oversee a data protection program, submit to regular data protection checks to which Mr. Zuckerberg and others must submit, and appoint an external expert to oversee data processing. As part of the comparator, which concludes a year-old investigation triggered by the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, the social networking giant is to extend its data protection to Facebook itself, as well as to Instagram and WhatsApp. It must also put in place a system of safety inspections in order to remain compliant with FTC regulations. Facebook must also maintain a data security program that covers the protection of information such as users` phone numbers. In the agreement filed today, the FTC alleges that Facebook broke the law by failing to protect data from third parties, by running advertisements using phone numbers for security reasons, and by lying to users that its facial recognition software had been disabled by default. To pay the fees, Facebook will pay $5 billion – the second-biggest fine ever imposed by the FTC – and accept a series of new restrictions on its operations. The last big question is related to a user`s expectation when they exclude their privacy settings. The FTC is investigating allegations that Facebook improperly shared 87 million users with the now-disbanded British consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The investigation focused on whether data exchange and other litigation was contrary to the 2011 approval agreement. In a related but separate development, the FTC also today announced separate lawsuits against data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, its former chief executive Alexander Nix and Aleksandr Kogan, an app developer working with the company, who claimed they used false and deceptive tactics to collect personal information from millions of Facebook users.

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