The fine is the largest the Federal Trade Commission has levied on a tech company. As part of the settlement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will have to personally certify his company’s compliance with its privacy programs. The FTC said that false certifications could expose him to civil or criminal penalties.
Instead of just being the network that connects everyone, Facebook wants to encourage small numbers of individuals to carry on encrypted conversations that neither Facebook nor any other outsider can read. It also plans to let messages automatically disappear, a feature pioneered by its rival Snapchat that could limit the risks posed by a trail of social media posts that follow people throughout their lives.
The Federal Trade Commission and Facebook are negotiating over a multi-billion dollar fine that would settle the agency’s investigation into the social media giant’s privacy practices, according to two people familiar with the probe. The fine would be the largest the agency has ever imposed on a technology company, but the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount.
A lawsuit could change the way we think about privacy in the digital age. Privacy is not quite dead. For egregious cases, there are remedies lying ready to hand in the civil law of torts, at least for the case that Bezos might want to bring against AMI.
The American Civil Liberties Union and its Northern California branch filed a lawsuit Thursday against seven government agencies. They allege that the agencies are “investing in technology and systems that enable the programmatic and sustained tracking of U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike,” raising concerns about privacy and free speech.
High-tech tools for immigration crackdowns. Fears of smartphone addiction. YouTube algorithms that steer youths into extremism. An experiment in gene-edited babies. Doorbells and concert venues that can pinpoint individual faces and alert police. Repurposing genealogy websites to hunt for crime suspects based on a relative’s DNA. Automated systems that keep tabs of workers’ movements and habits. Electric cars in Shanghai transmitting their every movement to the government. It’s been enough to exhaust even the most imaginative sci-fi visionaries.
A new round of Facebook data controversies has incensed lawmakers and added to the social network’s mounting problems. Lawmakers have roundly criticized Facebook and its executives but it is unclear if they are any closer to bridging the divisions over a federal privacy law.
New privacy laws — including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and California’s Consumer Privacy Act — could end up creating “protective moats” around established companies like Google and Facebook, while thwarting start-ups, according to Federal Trade Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips.