Facebook opens door to broader FTC scrutiny over its data privacy practices

Last year's major data privacy scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica prompted the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch a probe on the social networking giant. The investigation centered around how the British analytics firm gained access to the personal data of at least 50 million Facebook users and used those pieces of information in an effort to influence the 2016 U.S. elections.

Now, a new report from The Washington Post claims that Facebook is open to making concessions with the FTC in exchange for an end to all existing federal investigations into its privacy practices. Part of the concessions is to give regulators broader oversight of the way the social media firm handles user data. That means the FTC will have greater scrutiny over Facebook's data privacy practices covering new product launches to the decision-making process.

When both parties reach an agreement, Facebook will be required to make its data collection process and risk assessment more transparent for the FTC's perusal. Additionally, the company will need to vet third-party apps more thoroughly in order to avoid privacy mishaps. An FTC-approved third-party audit firm will also monitor Facebook on a regular basis as part of the tradeoff.

In the event of a privacy blunder, the FTC will impose more severe fines on the company. Already, the federal agency is set to levy a record-setting fine on Facebook, which is expected to come as part of the concessions. That said, the ongoing negotiations between the two parties may still result in changes to the final agreement.

Source: The Washington Post

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