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Facebook facing $5bn fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal

(Image credit: Future)

Facebook is set to face getting a gigantic fine as a result of the Cambridge Analytica fallout of last year, the media are reporting. Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a $5 billion fine, after the vote went 3-2 for the fine.

Both Facebook and the FTC decided not to comment any further on the fine.

According to the BBC, the fine still needs to be finalised by the civil division of the Department of Justice. That may take a while, as no one really knows how long the DoJ will take.

If this really pulls through, it would mean the biggest fine the FTC has ever imposed on any tech company.

Interestingly enough, Facebook’s shares rose 1.8 per cent after the news broke.

The FTC has been investigating if Cambridge Analytica got its hands on 87 million of Facebook users’ data, improperly. The incident occurred in March last year, which means the social media giant violated a 2011 agreement which forced it to notify users and request clear consent if it wants to share their data.

According to the BBC, the vote ‘broke along party lines’. Republican commissioners voted in favour, while the Democrats opposed.

"With the FTC either unable or unwilling to put in place reasonable guardrails to ensure that user privacy and data are protected, it's time for Congress to act," US Senator Mark Warner said.