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Facebook Gets Slapped with $5 Billion Fine Over 2018 Data Scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies At Joint Senate Commerce/Judiciary Hearing
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Facebook was hit with a record-breaking $5 Billion penalty by the Federal Trade Commission in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Last year there were a bunch of headlines about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. If you weren’t paying attention, the social media giant was taking some major heat for farming out a ton of personal user data to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica for advertising purposes. Many believe that the use of the data played a major role in both the 2016 presidential election as well as the 2016 Brexit referendum.

When the scandal broke wide in early 2018, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized for in a CNN exclusive, calling it a mistake and a breach of trust. He later had to testify in front of congress, which most of us remember because of his robotic behavior and the memes that were spawned as a result. Now the FTC has decided that they will say “we’re sorry” with money… and a whole lot of it.

Wednesday (7/24/19) the commission announced the decision to hit Facebook with a $5 Billion penalty for its mishandling of user data. The FTC said that Facebook’s actions violated a 2012 agreement with the commission that said they would not release user data to third parties without their consent.

So basically they’re paying a big fine, they have to do some more work on privacy features for Facebook users, and they’re going to have some oversight from the FTC to make sure they don’t start selling your data to politicians again.

That all sounds pretty good, but I wish they also would’ve forced Facebook to let users keep their news feed set to “most recent.” I’m getting really tired of seeing stuff from last weekend show up at the top of my feed for the fifth time.

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