Facebook could be forced to sign a deal with US authorities which will force the social media giant to have its privacy record monitored for the next 20 years, amid claims that the firm has already broken a 2011 agreement to keep all user data private.
The move follows Facebook’s admission that it has set aside $3bn (£2.33bn) for a potential fine from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and numerous privacy breaches.
According to a report by Reuters, the FTC is investigating whether Facebook is also in violation of the 2011 pact, in which the company pledged to get users’ explicit permission before sharing their data with third parties.
Reuters quotes “a source knowledgeable about the discussions”, who claims a decision could be published within weeks.
Both sides of the US Senate have criticised the potential fine, insisting that even the top end $5bn penalty was too little.
In a letter to the FTC, Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Josh Hawley demanded that top officials, including Mark Zuckerberg, should be held personally responsible.
Last month, the Canadian data protection authorities confirmed they are taking the social media giant to court over a litany of privacy law breaches.
The regulators’ joint report accused Facebook of failing to obtain valid and meaningful consent of users who had installed the app; failing to obtain meaningful consent from friends of installing users; having inadequate safeguards to protect user information; and failing to be accountable for the user information under its control.
Facebook has acknowledged a “major breach of trust”, but fiercely disputes the Canadian report. The company has also refused to agree to voluntarily audits of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years.
Earlier in April, it was revealed that the Canadian authorities will monitor Equifax for the next six years, following its 2017 data breach.
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