Lawmakers Condemn Potential Facebook Settlement

Potential Facebook Settlement Updated: May 6, 2019 / 3:36 PM 

On Monday, two U.S. senators criticized of reported plans involving a Federal Trade Commission settlement with Facebook Inc for misuse of consumers’ personal information, claiming that top officials, which may include founder Mark Zuckerberg, must be held responsible.

In a letter written to the FTC, both Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Republican Josh Hawley told the agency that even a $5 billion civil penalty is a “bargain for Facebook.”

It’s reported that the agency is also considering a settlement that elevates oversight of privacy policies and practices for the board of directors of Facebook, requiring the social media giant to be more diligent in policing third-party app developers.

However, Blumenthal and Hawley claimed that was inadequate and thought the FTC should go further.

“It should consider setting rules of the road on what Facebook can do with consumers’ private information, such as requiring the deletion of tracking data, restricting the collection of certain types of information, curbing advertising practices, and imposing a firewall on sharing private data between different products,” they wrote in a letter to Joe Simons, the FTC Chairman.

The FTC has continued their investigation with Facebook which involved the platform sharing information that belonged to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The research has focused on whether the data sharing and other disputes violate a 2011 agreement with the FTC to safeguard a users privacy.

The two senators have also encouraged the agency to name any Facebook official who was involved with any violation of a consent decree. “Personal responsibility must be recognized from the top of the corporate board down to the product development teams,” they wrote.

The FTC has acknowledged receipt of the letter but declined to comment. Facebook declined to comment.