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For the Facebook agreement Mark Zuckerberg has to confirm the data protection



Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of WASHINGTON – Facebook Inc., must personally confirm that the company is taking steps to protect consumer privacy under a settlement that is expected to be announced on Wednesday with the Federal Trade Commission becomes. 19659002] The deal involves the requirement that Mr. Zuckerberg conduct the FTC's certification on a quarterly basis based on his personal knowledge, the person said. A false statement in such a certification would lead to potential penalties, said this person.

Another person familiar with the matter said that Mr. Zuckerberg must certify that Facebook has privacy controls.

The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that the settlement includes a fine of around $ 5 billion for Facebook and other user privacy needs, according to people familiar with the matter.

The settlement will conclude an FTC investigation into Facebook's failure to comply with the terms of a previous FTC mandate announced in 201

1 in which the company promised to protect consumer information and be transparent about it, how it uses personal information.

A series of missteps in recent years has raised questions about Facebook's adherence to previous comparisons, notably last year's disclosure that tens of millions of Facebook user data had come into the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a political consultant firm worked for President Trump's election campaign.

Mr Zuckerberg's treatment was a major issue for both the FTC and Facebook during the negotiations, and the outcome could be seen as a win by both sides. Facebook avoids liability for Mr. Zuckerberg due to past alleged wrongdoing and avoids a lengthy legal action that should be taken to court.

Mr. Zuckerberg was not personally interviewed by the FTC as part of their investigation, a person familiar with the matter said.

For the FTC, and in particular the republican leadership of the agency, the forward-looking demands on Mr. Zuckerberg are a way to show that it holds the powerful CEO personally accountable.

As some details of the deal became known in recent weeks, the FTC has been criticized for failing to pay a fine, no matter how high, in order to keep the profitable social media giant from future data breaches ,

The agreement was recently approved by the FTC Board of Directors with a 3: 2 vote, as the persons familiar with the affair said, with three Republicans in favor and two Democrats against it, creating a new executive committee focusing on data protection to support the examination of the problem in the company at the highest level.

Despite the provisions relating to Mr. Zuckerberg, the deal may not satisfy the loudest critics of Facebook who are calling on regulators to take more intrusive steps, such as restricting Facebook's data collection or dissolving the company.

While Facebook has become the primary target of critics, other big companies have been drawn into the crossfire of privacy.

Just this week, the FTC has opposed it

Equifax
Inc.

about a massive data breach that affects tens of millions of Americans. The agency's agreement has imposed a civil sanction of up to $ 700 million on the company.

It is expected that the FTC will soon settle another high-profile case

alphabet
Inc.

YouTube on alleged violations of children's online privacy rights.

Share Your Thoughts

What additional steps would you take on Facebook to ensure users' privacy? Join the following conversation.

Taken together, recent cases suggest that the agency intends to reinforce its widespread enforcement efforts in online privacy cases in order to fend off critics who have called for a new federal data protection authority.

Federal antitrust enforcement agencies, including the FTC and the Department of Justice, have also begun to prepare for antitrust investigations related to Big Tech. Legislators and some presidential candidates also appear to be increasingly interested in aggressively tackling potential antitrust violations by major technology companies.

The FTC's Facebook agreement, which many privacy advocates have already reported, could fuel the demand for more rigorous antitrust testing by Big Tech.

Already the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a group of advocates whose previous complaints led to an 2011 FTC enforcement order against Facebook, said the FTC should dissolve the company by forcing it to buy the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions to undo.

Write to Ryan Tracy at Ryan.tracy@wsj.com and John D. McKinnon at john.mckinnon@wsj.com.

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