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Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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6 Actions That Made GDPR Real in 2019

In the wake of recent fines levied against British Airways, Marriott, and Facebook, companies are starting to take data privacy and security more seriously.
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6. US FTC Reportedly Settles with Facebook for $5B over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Facebook reached a settlement about 10 days ago over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal that occurred during the 2016 presidential election, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and other news sites. The $5 billion fine ranks as the largest against a tech company in FTC history considerably larger than the $22.5 million hit Google with in 2012, also for issues with privacy practices.

"Facebook has a much larger challenge with data-sharing practices, including accounting for what data is collected, why is it collected, and who it is sold to," says Steve Schlarman, GRC strategist at RSA. "This is different and much more complex than a vulnerability on a commerce website for example, how the British Airways breach seems to have occurred. Facebook's challenges extend into their data-sharing ecosystem, which we saw with the Cambridge Analytica scenario, a third-party cyber-risk."

The FTC approved the fine along party lines, with three Republicans voting "yes" and two Democrats voting "no." Congressmen from both sides of the aisle said the fine was a "slap on the wrist," calling instead for more structural reform. Analysts pointed out that the $5 billion fine was one month's net income for Facebook, more money than most companies will ever see.

Dark Reading reported the news on July 15.

Image Source: Adobe Stock: Scott Maxwell

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