FTC, Facebook Negotiating Multi-Billion Dollar Fine Over Alleged Privacy Breaches

Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are in the throes of negotiating a multi-billion dollar fine that would end the commission’s probe into Facebook’s alleged privacy breaches, according to two sources cited in a Thursday report from The Washington Post. The two sides have reportedly not yet agreed on a final number, and Facebook has allegedly disputed some of the FTC’s stipulations, the sources said. If they can’t strike a deal, the matter could be decided in court—which would subject both Facebook execs and the FTC’s practices to stringent scrutiny. But if they succeed, the deal would shutter the FTC’s probe into whether the tech titan’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica—or any of its other alleged privacy breaches—violated a 2011 agreement between the two organizations that required Facebook to be more open with users about the way it shares their data. The potential deal is quite likely to be the largest-ever fine imposed by the FTC on an American company: The previous record holder is Google, which was slapped with a $22.5 million fine in 2012.