The Wall Street Journal is reporting that there are emails sent by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that possibly link him to troublesome privacy issues at the company. The emails came to light during the ongoing federal probe by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The emails, if they become public, could potentially harm Facebook, especially in the public relations department. Facebook has been functioning under a consent decree it agreed to with the FCC in 2012, after a scandal with Cambridge Analytica regarding data privacy.
One person told the Journal that the potential for the emails to go public is a main reason for Facebook wanting to reach a settlement with the FCC. The emails suggest that Zuckerberg and other execs at the company may not have been following the decree, under which Facebook agreed to be better about protecting user data. The FTC is investigating whether it indeed did so.
Facebook wants to make a deal with the FTC and continue to move forward, and Zuckerberg has recently said the company will pivot more toward encrypted messages and privacy. Facebook expects to pay at least $5 billion as part of the settlement.
“We have fully cooperated with the FTC’s investigation to date, and provided tens of thousands of documents, emails and files. We are continuing to work with them and hope to bring this matter to an appropriate resolution,” a Facebook spokesperson said on Tuesday (June 11). “Facebook and its executives, including Mark, at all times strive to comply with all applicable law, and at no point did Mark or any other Facebook employee knowingly violate the company’s obligations under the FTC consent order.”
Facebook has been against any efforts to hold Zuckerberg personally accountable as part of the settlement, the news outlet reported.
Facebook is also being sued by the attorney general of Washington, D.C., Karl Racine, over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The AG is arguing that Facebook knew data was being misused for political purposes in 2015.