Facebook, FTC negotiating multi-billion dollar fine after Cambridge Analytica: Report

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Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are reportedly embroiled in negotiations over a multi-billion dollar fine that would settle the federal agency’s investigation into the social media juggernaut’s privacy policies, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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It would be the largest fine the FTC has ever imposed on a technology company, although the two have yet to settle on the exact number, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the news.

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Facebook reiterated that it’s working with officials in the U.S. and U.K. regarding privacy concerns, but declined to comment further.

The FTC’s investigation into Facebook began last March, when the New York Times and the Guardian published shocking exposés that revealed Facebook had inadvertently allowed Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm, to gather personal data from nearly 70 million of its users.

The agency is trying to determine whether Facebook’s conduct (in addition to a series of additional privacy scandals this past year) amount to violations of a 2011 agreement Facebook brokered with the FTC to improve its privacy practices, the Post reported. Facebook has said that it did not violate the accord.

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If Facebook agreed to an FTC settlement, that deal would have to be approved by a judge. Conversely, the company could choose to fight the FTC, which would likely land in federal court.

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