The Latest: Dissenters preferred lawsuit over Facebook fine
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S. fine against Facebook over privacy (all times local):
The two Democratic commissioners who dissented in the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to fine Facebook $5 billion over privacy violations say litigation would have been a better way to punish the company and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Federal regulators announced the fine Wednesday and are implementing new oversight and restrictions on its business.
Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter says initiating litigation would have been more likely to effectively change Facebook. She says litigation would have provided public transparency and accountability for the company and its leaders and send a message that the commission is tough on ensuring compliance with its orders.
Commissioner Rohit Chopra says commissioners cut off the inquiry too early in favor of the settlement.
The Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 along party lines in favor of the settlement.
Federal regulators are fining Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations and instituting new oversight and restrictions on its business. But they are only holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible in a limited fashion.
The fine is the largest the Federal Trade Commission has levied on a tech company, although it won’t much dent a company that had nearly $56 billion in revenue last year.
Zuckerberg must personally certify Facebook’s compliance with its privacy programs. The FTC says false certifications could expose him to civil or criminal penalties.
Some experts thought the FTC might fine Zuckerberg directly or limit his authority over the company.
The commission opened their investigation after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had gathered details on as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.