• Facebook to pay $5 billion in FTC settlement for Cambridge Analytica scandal 
  • Facebook and FTC reach agreement for new level of accountability for privacy  
  • Agreement “has been a catalyst for changing the culture of the company,” chief privacy officer writes 

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Facebook: Court approves $5bn settlement with the FTC

Source: PixieMe Shutterstock

A US court has approved Facebook’s $5 billion privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the Cambridge Analytica Scandal from early 2018.  

Allegations against Facebook on its mishandling of user’s privacy has been officially settled after the FTC investigated the firm’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

In a blog post, Facebook Product chief privacy officer Michael Protti confirmed a federal court official has approved the agreement, which was reached with the FTC last July with Facebook agreeing to “fundamentally shift our approach to protecting people’ privacy and to pay a $5 billion fine.”  

As part of the settlement, Facebook agreed to create a board committee on privacy and will also adhere to new executive certifications on user privacy, two people briefed on the matter told the Guardian

Protti added: “I’m committed to helping Facebook make important changes to the way that we approach privacy across the company as we implement the order. We’re off to a good start, with much of the work required by the agreement already underway.” 

Facebook has already introduced changes to its company and introduced advances in how it protects its user’s privacy.

Protti explained the “fundamental changes” have “changed how we work, how we build new products and technologies and how we handle people’s information. Most of all, it brings a new level of accountability and ensures that privacy is everyone’s responsibility at Facebook.  

“With this agreement now in place, executive leaders at the company, including our CEO, will now certify our compliance with it quarterly and annually to the FTC.  

“We are also creating a new Privacy Committee on our Board of Directors that will be comprised solely of independent directors, and we’ll work with a third-party, independent assessor who will regularly and directly report to the Privacy Committee on our privacy program compliance.”  

Facebook has also created technical and non-technical teams that are solely focussed in privacy. 

The agreement with the FTC “has been a catalyst for changing the culture of our company”, Facebook said. “The firm outlined the ways it has created new levels of accountability, how it is protecting its users privacy and the progress made to date.  

Protti concluded: “The agreement approved today goes beyond anything required by US law, and we believe that it can and should serve as a roadmap for more comprehensive privacy regulation, as other parts of the world have explored. We hope this leads to further progress on developing consistent legislation in the US and elsewhere.  

“Ultimately, our goal is to honour people’s privacy and focus on doing what’s right for people. We believe that’s what the billions of people who use our products expect from us, and we’re going to keep doing that work for them.”