The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has filed a suit against data analytics company Cambridge Analytica.
In addition to the administrative complaint, the agency also revealed that it filed settlements with Cambridge Analytica’s former chief executive and an app developer who worked with the company. Both were accused of using deceptive tactics to collect personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users that was used in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
As part of a proposed settlement with the FTC, the defendants — app developer Aleksandr Kogan and former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix — “are prohibited from making false or deceptive statements regarding the extent to which they collect, use, share, or sell personal information, as well as the purposes for which they collect, use, share, or sell such information. In addition, they are required to delete or destroy any personal information collected from consumers via the GSRApp and any related work product that originated from the data,” according to a statement from the FTC.
While Cambridge Analytica has filed for bankruptcy and has not settled the FTC’s allegations, Facebook will pay a record-breaking $5 billion penalty and submit to new restrictions regarding the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy as part of its settlement with the FTC.
It was also reported that the social media giant is expected to settle this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation into its privacy practices, with sources saying that the SEC is planning to hit Facebook with a fine of more than $100 million.
Despite its issues, Facebook has seen its user base grow, crossing the 1.5 billion mark to 1.56 billion, up 8 percent. On average, more than 2.1 billion people used at least one of the apps in the Facebook family – Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger or Facebook — every day, and 2.7 billion using them every month.