The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook after reports that the data of 50 million users was improperly given to Cambridge Analytica without their consent. This would be a violation of the consent decree the social media company signed with the FTC back in 2011. If Facebook is found to have violated the consent decree they risk being fined $40,000 per violation, which could total two trillion dollars.
Facebook claims that Aleksandr Kogan, an app developer who had partnered with Cambridge Analytica, was to blame for the misuse of the data. The company claims he told them the data was for academic purposes and did not have permission to turn the data over to a third party.
"We reject any suggestion of violation of the consent decree. We respected the privacy settings that people had in place. Privacy and data protections are fundamental to every decision we make"
Facebook said it plans to use a digital forensics firm to determine whether or not Cambridge Analytica deleted the data. Cambridge Analytica said it was unaware the data was shared without the permission of the users.
Facebook will be sending employees to Washington D.C. to brief members of Congress about their privacy and security on Tuesday and Wednesday.
News of the improper use of data sent shares of Facebook tumbling on Monday. The stock was down as much as 8% on Monday and down around 5% in early trading on Tuesday.
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