Facebook to pay $5 billion FTC fine

(NBC News) The Federal Trade Commission announced a $5 billion settlement with Facebook on Wednesday to end an investigation into the company’s privacy practices.

It’s a record penalty that shows the federal government taking a harder stance against tech firms, but one that may stop short of changing how Silicon Valley does business.

Facebook will be required as part of the deal to create a new board-level committee to oversee privacy, but the agreement with the government does not include any major changes to the social media giant’s lucrative advertising business, which runs on the collection and use of personal information about its more than 2 billion users.

The FTC settlement, which will need to be approved by a federal judge, would put an endpoint on the U.S. government’s probe of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which erupted last year after reports that the consulting company had obtained profile information on millions of Facebook users and their friends via a quiz app. Cambridge Analytica also worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

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