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Facebook Data Privacy Scandal: to be fined $5bn over sharing of users’ personal data

by Umair Hashmi
Facebook Data Privacy Scandal

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a record $5bn (£4bn) fine on Facebook to settle an investigation over Cambridge Analytica (CA) privacy violations.

According to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, relying on anonymous sources, the fine would be the largest imposed by the Federal Trade Commission against a technology company.

The FTC, the US government agency that promotes consumer protection, has been investigating allegations against Facebook that they sold the users’ personal information to the Cambridge Analytica (CA).

What is Cambridge Analytica scandal?

Cambridge Analytica was a British political consulting firm and had access to the data of millions of Facebook users. CA used some of the data to help Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

How Facebook shared users’ personal information?

  • Facebook launched a personality assessment quiz in 2014
  • The quiz app gathered the personal data of those who attend the quiz and also the public data of their friends
  • According to Facebook, they collected 87 million users’ information
  • It is claimed that some of the data was sold to Cambridge Analytica (CA) and allegedly used to psychologically profile US voters
  • CA denies allegations and says the data was not used for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign
  • Facebook has apologized to users telling them whether their data was breached

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