The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly voted to approve fining Facebook roughly $5 billion (Rs 34,280 crore) to settle an investigation into the companys privacy violations that was launched following the Cambridge Analytica revelations.
The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, both citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, reported Friday afternoon that the settlement was approved by a 3-2 vote that broke along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. The justice department is expected make a final approval of the fine.
Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.
The FTCs investigation was launched in March 2018 after the Guardian revealed that the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica had improperly obtained the private information of more than 50m Facebook users. Facebook had agreed under a 2012 consent decree stemming from a previous FTC investigation into privacy concerns to better protect user privacy. The investigation centered on whether this decree had been violated.
The $5bn fine would be the largest ever levied by the FTC against a technology company, and the largest ever against any company for a privacy violation.