The United States of America Federal Trade Commission has fined social media giant Facebook the sum of $5 billion over privacy issues. Facebook has been under the investigations of the FTC for allegedly sharing private information belonging to 87 million users.
The FTC intends to add other restrictions regarding how Facebook treats user privacy to the fine. The fine will be the biggest fine ever paid to the agency. Reuters recorded that Facebook and the agency declined to comment on the matter.
Although this fine settles a regulatory issue for Facebook, the social media giant might still face more antitrust probe, considering that the FTC and the Justice Department are reviewing the competition between the US-based tech companies. The company is also under scrutiny from President Donald Trump regarding its digital tender ‘Libra’ over concerns based on privacy and money laundering.
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According to Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat and chair of a congressional antitrust panel, the fine is just a fraction of Facebook’s annual revenue, and wouldn’t be enough to convince them to take the responsibility of protecting user data seriously.
Facebook recorded a revenue of $15.1 billion for the first quarter of 2019 and a $2.43 billion net income. The net income would have been higher than what was recorded but the company’s set aside $3 billion for the FTC penalty.
The payment is yet to be settled by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and when approved will be announced to the public.