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Facebook's $ 5 billion fine is an embarrassing joke



Facebook's stock rose after news of a record $ 5 billion fine for various data breaches arose today, the real story here is: The United States Government has Months spent punishing Facebook's long list of privacy-related violations, and the best she could do was push Facebook's share price so weak.

From another perspective, this $ 5 billion fine is, of course, a big deal: it's the highest fine in FTC history and far greater than the $ 22 million fine imposed on Google in 2012 , And $ 5 billion is of course a lot of money. Just like everything else that comes into contact with Facebook, it's still too small: Facebook generated $ 1

5 billion in sales in the last quarter alone and $ 22 billion in profits last year.

The largest FTC fine in the country's history is basically a month of Facebook's revenue, and the company has telegraphed it to investors so well that its stock price has risen.

Here's another way to put it: The biggest FTC fine in US history increased Mark Zuckerberg's net worth.

What lesson would you learn from this ? Would someone?

That's actually the problem here: fines and punishments are only effective if they have negative consequences for bad behavior. But from the start, Facebook has done nothing but behave badly, and it has always been beaten on the wrist by authority figures and rewarded by the market. After all, Facebook was already under a previous 2011 FTC consent decree for privacy breaches, and this did not seem to stop any of the company's recent scandals from happening. As Kara Swisher has written, you must add another zero to this fine for it to mean something.

As Tony Romm of the Washington Post reported, there are other elements for the unification: Facebook must document how it plans to use data before launching new products Zuckerberg must promise that the company has protected users' privacy. However, none of these conditions will prevent Facebook from gathering and sharing data, and they certainly will not affect Facebook's insanely lucrative ad business based on that data.

And, as Peter Kafka notes, the cost of regulatory compliance is not exactly a deterrent: Facebook will pay the fine, eat up the cost of a few more lawyers and public relations staff to ensure compliance with this new regulation, and continue with it The FTC has just presented a Christmas present to Facebook five months earlier. David Cicilline (@davidcicilline)) July 12, 2019

Congressmen reject this agreement – MP David Cicilline calls it a "Christmas present," while Senator Ron Wyden says the FTC failed "miserably" Senator Richard Blumenthal says the decision was "inappropriate" and "historically hollow," and Sen. Mark Warner says "it's time for Congress to act. "

There will be many more statements and sharply formulated FTC sentences in the coming weeks The Ministry of Justice review and unavoidable approval, but words are actually just words If our government wants to hold Facebook accountable for its reckless and irresponsible behavior, it must actually do so, and so that Mark Zuckerberg learns that action has consequences.


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