Press Release

Public Knowledge Criticizes Reported $5 Billion Facebook Settlement

July 12, 2019 , , , ,

Reports indicate that the Federal Trade Commission recently voted 3-2 along party lines to approve a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook over the company’s repeated privacy violations, including the Cambridge Analytica incident. The FTC is expected to unveil the terms of the fine — including possible conditions — once the Department of Justice has finalized the settlement.

The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“We don’t yet know key aspects of the settlement: whether Facebook must make any changes to its business model or practices as a result of the settlement. By itself, this fine will not be sufficient to change Facebook’s behavior. 

“Reporting indicates that Commissioner Slaughter and Commissioner Chopra, who have been strong advocates on behalf of consumers, did not concur in the judgement of the other Commissioners, raising a question of what other important issues possibly should have been addressed in the reported settlement.

“I'm hopeful that additional conditions placed on Facebook’s business practices will be forthcoming. Those conditions should protect not just user privacy, but also the users' opportunity to easily leave Facebook for a competitor if they choose.”