Facebook's settlement with US regulators likely to include WhatsApp

Mark Zuckerberg

Politico reported on Wednesday that Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were negotiating a possible settlement that would require the company to create an independent privacy oversight committee and take other steps to safeguard users.

If it goes through, the settlement would resolve an investigation into whether violated a 2012 consent decree by allowing political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to harvest data from up to 87 million users.

Under the deal, which hasn't yet been finalized, Zuckerberg would be named "designated compliance officer" for issues related to user privacy.

Canada's privacy czar is now accepting Facebook to courtroom after discovering the social media giant clinics allowed personal info to be utilized for political motives.

Facebook will still be paying out $3 billion to cover settlements with US regulators over privacy issues.

During Facebook's F8 developers' conference this week, the issue of user privacy seemed to loom over the event as Facebook announced even more invasive features and joked about the sites numerous data scandals. But questions do remain after a year of various controversies and breaches - and with Facebook holding personal insights on some 2.38 billion people, as we've seen, its potential influence can be massive.

"Facebook's refusal to behave responsibly is deeply troubling given that the vast amount of sensitive information individuals have entrusted to this company", Therrien said.

Facebook and the FTC each declined to comment for this story.

EPIC, which filed the complaint that led to Facebook's 2011 settlement with the FTC, joined a coalition of groups earlier this year in calling for "substantial fines, structural remedies, compliance with Fair Information Practices, reformed hiring and management practices and restored democratic governance".

As The Washington Post notes, negotiations between Facebook and the FTC are ongoing, and the settlement could change drastically before it's final. If the agency lacks at least three votes - or talks break down between Facebook and the FTC - the result could force the two sides to battle in court.



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