U.S. regulators fine Facebook $5 billion to settle privacy claims

National News

WASHINGTON (ABC News) – U.S. regulators fined Facebook a record $5 billion penalty to settle claims that the company deceived its users about the privacy of their personal information in the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In an agreement reached with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the company also agreed to a new corporate structure tor greater transparency.

“Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement. “The magnitude of the $5 billion penalty and sweeping conduct relief are unprecedented in the history of the FTC.”

“The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations. The Commission takes consumer privacy seriously, and will enforce FTC orders to the fullest extent of the law,” Simons said.

Facebook executive Colin Stretch wrote in a post on the company’s website that Facebook’s “handling of this matter was a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who depend on us to protect their data.”

“After months of negotiations, we’ve reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that provides a comprehensive new framework for protecting people’s privacy and the information they give us,” he wrote.

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