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FEDS PROBE FACEBOOK

Issued: 2018-03-20

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the use of personal data from 50 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica violated a consent decree the tech company signed with the agency in 2011, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The report follows a weekend of turmoil for Facebook after the research firm was alleged to have improperly gained access to the data of more than 50 million Facebook users.

"We are aware of the issues that have been raised but cannot comment on whether we are investigating. We take any allegations of violations of our consent decrees very seriously as we did in 2012 in a privacy case involving Google," a spokesman for the FTC said Tuesday.

A violation of the consent decree could carry a penalty of $40,000 per violation, which could mean a fine conservatively estimated to be "many millions of dollars in fines" for Facebook, The Washington Post reported over the weekend, citing a former FTC official.

Facebook has maintained the mishandling of data was the result of abuse on the part of Cambridge Analytica and app developer Aleksandr Kogan.

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