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Facebook to Pay $5bn for Privacy Concerns

Facebook will pay a $5 billion fine to settle privacy concerns, the US Federal Trade Commission has said.

The social network must also establish an independent privacy committee that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg will not have control over.

The FTC had been probing allegations political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

The probe then widened to include other issues such as facial recognition.

The $5bn fine is believed to be the biggest ever imposed on any company for violating consumers’ privacy.

“Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. He added that the magnitude of the fine was designed “to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations”.

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UK Regulator Probes Facebook, Google Dominance in Advertising

The Competition and Markets Authority said that if it found that the companies’ market power was harming competition it would consider bringing in a stricter regulatory regime.

 

The UK’s antitrust authority is starting a long-awaited investigation into the dominance of social media giants including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc in digital advertising markets.

 

The Competition and Markets Authority said that if it found that the companies’ market power was harming competition it would consider bringing in a stricter regulatory regime. The new rules could limit how the firms set prices with advertisers, it said. Some separation of business units may also be appropriate, the regulator said.

 

The CMA is joining other European regulators in examining how the online advertising market functions. French and German antitrust authorities have separately been looking at the market, with France’s competition agency flagging the scale of Google’s ad offering and data as a potential concern. Data protection authorities are also scrutinizing the advertising bidding process and how it may share personal information.