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Penalty for social network

Facebook to be hit with $5bn record fine for privacy breaches

Facebook

The social network is capable of absorbing even a $5 billion penalty


 

Facebook is expecting a record $5 billion penalty to settle an investigation into the social network’s privacy and data protection lapses.

The Federal Trade Commission has approved the settlement which would be the largest penalty imposed over privacy violations, according to the Wall Street Journal. The fine, which still requires approval from the Justice Department, would also be the largest given to a technology company, easily eclipsing the second largest, $22 million for Google in 2012. It would be in line with Facebook’s estimate earlier this year.

The investigation followed revelations that personal data on tens of millions of users was hijacked by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, working on the Donald Trump campaign in 2016.

Facebook has also faced questions about whether it improperly shared user data with business partners in violation of the earlier settlement.

The social network with more than two billion users worldwide has also been facing inquiries on privacy from authorities in US states and regulators around the world.

For most companies, a $5 billion fine would be unthinkable. But Facebook had almost $56 billion in revenue last year. This year, analysts expect around $69 billion and it will be able to exclude the amount from its adjusted earnings results,



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