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Facebook has hit $ 5 billion in fines for violating privacy. So what?


But the long-awaited penalty for which Facebook is well prepared is unlikely to suffer deep pockets in the social giant media. However, the company is likely to weaken the company with additional restrictions and another strict control.

Facebook and the FTC rejected a comment on the 3-2 vote, which took place along side lines – the Republicans in support and the Democrats, contrary to the agreement.

For most businesses, a fine of $ 5 billion would be severe. But Facebook is not the majority of companies. Last year, it had almost € 50 billion of revenue. This year, analysts expect around EUR 61 billion. As a one-off cost, the company will also be able to exclude the amount from the adjusted profit results – the profit that investors and financial analysts deal with.

"This closes the dark chapter and puts it in a Cambridge Analytica rearview mirror," said another analyst. "Investors are still persistently concerned that the fine may not be approved. Now Wall Street can breathe a bit easier."

Facebook has allocated $ 3 billion for a potential fine, but said in April that it expects to pay up to $ 5 billion. While Wall Street – and, probably, Facebook's management – may have been a bit easier to breathe, the financial penalty itself did not mitigate Facebook's critics, including privacy advocates and legislators.

"A $ 5 billion penalty is barely a touch on your wrist or slap," said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut. "Such a financial penalty for a deliberate, manifestly unlawful act is a major change for a company that makes tens of billions of dollars each year."

He and others were wondering whether US regulators would force Facebook to make a meaningful change in the way user information is processed. This may include restrictions on the data that it collects on people, and how it targets ads. It is currently unclear what measures involve a settlement through a fine.

Privacy advocates have urged the regulators to appear on Facebook for a decade – but in this time, the money, power, and influence of the company at government level around the world only increased.

"The Privacy Policy has been violated," said Nuala O'Connor, Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. "Although significant fines are relevant to the facts, much stronger and clear rules for protecting consumers are much more important."

CDT is committed to federal online privacy laws in the US.

Some have called on lawmakers to make Facebook Zuckerberg in person in person in person for privacy violations, but this is unlikely.

Since the launch of Cambridge Analytica one year ago and triggered an FTC investigation, Facebook has committed itself to making better use of its users' data. This scandal revealed that the data mining company associated with the Donald Trumpa 2016 campaign had incorrectly accessed 87 million Facebook users through a quiz application. It is a question of whether Facebook violated the 2011 settlement with the FTC for the privacy of users.

Since then, other control holes have also appeared. Facebook has acknowledged that large technology companies, such as Amazon and Yahoo, provide extensive access to personal data of users, which in fact exempt them from normal privacy practices. In 2015, he collected call logs and text from phones that are on Google's Android system.

Wall Street seemed unhappy with the fine. Facebook shares closed on Friday at $ 204.87 and added 24 hours a day. The stock has risen by more than 50% since January. Indeed, the market value of Facebook has increased by 57 billion euros from the earnings report in April, when it announced how much it expects it to be penalized.

However, fines do not mean the end of Facebook's problems. The company faces a host of other inquiries that could have its own fines – and, more importantly, possible restrictions on data collection. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner carries almost a dozen separate investigations, the Office of which controls the EU's privacy policy.

Sunday Independent

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