Facebook

Facebook agreed to pay a $5 billion penalty.

A leading research group for the public interest challenged the 5 billion dollars Facebook Privacy Agreement by the Federal Trade Commission and called it an unfair victory for the tech giant and a poor deal for hundreds of millions of customers, who rely on its facilities.

On Freitag, in an attempt to block the automatic approval of this settlement in the existing form, the group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, requested F.T.C.‘s case against Facebook.

The Group, known as EPIC, claims that the suggested agreement does not guarantee customer privacy, partially because it gives Facebook the protection of thousands of exceptional customer complaints, which it faces over problems as varied as child privacy, health privacy and the use of technology for facial recognition.

“Without Facebook having to acknowledge responsibility for its privacy abusses, the order suggested wipes Facebook slates clean,” suggests the Group’s complaint.

To review the fairness of the Facebook contract, EPIC asked an audience to consider complaints from customer organizations. If such a hearing were decided by the tribunal, the judge might require the Commercial Commission to evaluate exceptional customer complaints and to change the conditions of the settlement proposed.

Also arguing in the EPIC’s filing that the Commercial Commission breached its own mandate to carefully review customer complaints when it decided, as part of the agreement it suggested, to protect the tech giant against the exceptional charge of customers and consumer organizations. EPIC claims that it had several excellent Facebook complaints. The filing in Washington’s federal court efficiently calls into question the fitness of F.T.C. as an enforcer of privacy in the nation, while certain Congressmen float around the concept of setting up a distinct data protection agency for private information in the Americas.

James A. Kohm, Associate Director of the Commerce Committee Enforcement, stated that the organization carefully researched its consumer group and press report complaints about Facebook and acquired data independently of other sources.

For example, one complaint made by a consumer group relates to the use of face recognition technology by FB. The F.T.C. indicated that several of the settlement stipulations had resolved problems arising from the complaint, including an obligation for Facebook to ask customers to opt for fresh uses of technology not earlier revealed by the business.
Some customer complaints could not be substantiated, Mr. Kohm said, as is traditional in such inquiries.
He added that F.T.C.’s Facebook settlement quoted the business for demonstrable breach.
“There is an enormous distinction between creating and proving an allegation in court,” Mr. Kohm said. “Sometimes it’s a very lengthy path between those two items.” Facebook refused to comment.

This month, in a 3-2 decision, the F.T.C. Commissioners voted to approve the consent order. It would close a federal inquiry into whether Facebook breached the Agency’s 2011 settlement by enabling the consulting company Cambridge Analytica to collect tens of millions of Facebook users ‘ private information in connection with President Trump’s 2016 campaign. In part due to complaints lodged by EPIC, the 2011 Agreement prohibited Facebook from misleading methods of data mining.

When it was made public on Wednesday the last settlement gave rise to sharp government criticism.

Maybe its most controversial provision would grant Facebook and its officials complete immunity from any known complaints that FB or its defamation customers had broken the 2011 resolution order by 12 June.
In the eight years since the 2011 agreement, the customers and groups lodged at least 26,000 Facebook complaints, according to data obtained by EPIC from the trade commission under requests for public records. Alone in 2018, the documents indicate that consumers have lodged more than 8,000 complaints.

The two F.T.C.’s Democratic commissars have voted against the settlement, arguing in disagreement that the scope of the FB immunity is unjustified.

In the second quarter of 2019, Facebook revealed to its shareholders on Wednesday that it produced $16.9bn – a 28 percent rise over the second quarter of 2018. At that level, it requires just 27 days for Facebook to pay the FTC’s $5bn fine.