Last week Facebook was fined for poor privacy practices by the Federal Trade Commission. Probably around $5 billion — A chunk of change to be sure. But when your net profit is $7 billion a quarter, the fine seems kinda skimpy.
Put Another Zero on Facebook’s Fine. Then We Can Talk.
A $3 billion to $5 billion penalty for privacy violations won’t change anything.
How can I describe the fine of between $3 billion and $5 billion that Facebook is likely to pay to the Federal Trade Commission — which will doubtlessly be touted as its largest ever — to settle the government’s inquiry into what the social networking giant called “our platform and user data practices”?
How about: It’s a parking ticket. Not a speeding ticket. Not a DUI — or a DUI(P), data under the influence of Putin. A parking ticket.
To be clear, $5 billion is a lot of money. A lot of dough, clams, loot, lettuce, simoleons. But with apologies to that pissed-off shark in “Jaws,” they’re going to need a bigger fine if they actually want to stop Facebook from violating its users’ privacy.
Back in 2011, with I’m-sorrys all around, Facebook signed a consent decree with the F.T.C. around a different set of data abuse issues. This new fine presumably will cover all of the fresh I’m-sorrys since then, for the various and sundry violations that the company has committed over the last several years, including the mistakes the company made in not seeing and then not quickly plugging the epic Cambridge Analytica data leak …
- The New York Times
- Main photograph Copyright © 2018 Jake Rowland for Wired Magazine