Facebook and FTC negotiating multi-BILLION dollar fine over privacy violations

Facebook is expected to be slapped with the largest fine the FCC has ever imposed on a tech company, but the exact dollar amount is yet to be determined.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is negotiating with Facebook over a multi-billion dollar fine to settle the FTC investigation into Facebook's privacy- and security-violating practices, two sources familiar with the probe told the Washington Post.

One of the Post's sources says Facebook has been expressing concern with the FTC's demands, and it's possible the matter will end up in the courts.


If talks break down, the FTC could take the matter to court in what would likely be a bruising legal fight.

The two people familiar with the probe spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private talks. Facebook confirmed it is in discussions with the agency but declined to comment further. The FTC declined to comment.

Previously, the largest fine the FTC has imposed on a tech giant for breaking an agreement with the federal government to safeguard consumers' data was a $22.5 million penalty that Google paid to settle a probe over its privacy practices in 2012.

The FTC's probe of Facebook began in March of last year response to reports about the social giant's entanglement with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that improperly accessed data on 87 million of the social site's users. The agency's inquiry focuses on whether Facebook's conduct — along with a series of additional privacy mishaps made public in recent months — amount to violations of a 2011 agreement Facebook brokered with the FTC to improve its privacy practices. Facebook has maintained it did not breach that accord.

READ MORE: The U.S. government and Facebook are negotiating a record, multibillion-dollar fine for the company's privacy lapses / Tony Romm