The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Facebook are now negotiating a legal settlement that could make CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally liable for any future privacy issues, according to Politico and the New York Times.
At F8, Facebook's annual developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated the social networking site's commitment to improving data privacy. The FTC would require the new privacy oversight committee to meet quarterly and issue periodic reports on the company's privacy practices and would "essentially" have veto power over the choice of the federally approved privacy executive.
The business set aside $3 billion as a contingency against the penalty that was possible Wednesday in its earnings report. The FTC has been looking into if Facebook broke its 2011 agreement promising to protect consumer privacy. The changes would accompany a record-breaking, multi-billion-dollar fine that the FTC has considered levying against Facebook.
Both Facebook and the FTC did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment. Future privacy mishaps could lead to even heftier fines. If the company suffered future privacy mishaps, Facebook would have to report them more swiftly to the agency, much as the tech industry already must do under tough privacy laws implemented in Europe a year ago, the person said. U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California, who is presiding over a class-action lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting, recently suggested that Facebook disclosed its practices to users via privacy policies.
As The Washington Post notes, negotiations between Facebook and the FTC are ongoing, and the settlement could change drastically before it's final. That consent decree prohibits Facebook from misrepresenting its privacy practices, and from misrepresenting the extent to which it makes users' information available to third parties. Broadly, though, he signaled the agency intends to rethink the way it penalizes companies for their privacy mishaps - seeking to send a message that it takes violations seriously.