Facebook may face record FTC fine over data privacy violations: Report

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The Federal Trade Commission is considering an unprecedented fine against Facebook for possible violations of an agreement to protect its users’ personal data, according to a report on Friday.

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The fine is likely to be “much larger” than the previous record $22.5 million fine Google was forced to pay in 2012 for violating an agreement with the FTC, the Washington Post reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. The FTC began investigation of Facebook’s data practices last March, shortly after the social platform admitted that British firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed the personal data of up to 87 million users.

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The FTC has yet to make a final determination on a fine or publicize the findings of its investigation into Facebook, according to the report.  The revelation placed Facebook under unprecedented congressional and regulatory scrutiny. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to Capitol Hill to address the breach.

"The broadest mistakes that we made here are not taking a broad enough view of our responsibility," he told lawmakers in April.

The FTC has been inactive due to the partial government shutdown. A representative for the watchdog agency did not return a request for comment.

Facebook declined comment. Company shares rose 1 percent in trading Friday.

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Facebook agreed in 2011 to improve data protections for its users as part of a settlement with the FTC. At the time, the agency accused Facebook of deceptive practices and violations of federal law.

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