Experts Claim Facebook’s Multi-Billion Dollar Privacy Fine By The FTC Is A Joke, Let’s Find Out Why
Experts Claim That Facebook’s Multi-Billion Dollar Fine By The FTC Is A Joke… Let’s Find Out Why
As things stand, it appears as though the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will most likely slap a fine of anywhere between $3 billion and $5 billion dollars on Facebook for its recent privacy violations. According to many analysts, this will be one of the biggest fines to ever be levied against a tech-firm since the start of the 20th century.
The aforementioned numbers cropped up when Facebook decided to share its earnings report last week— with $3 billion being set aside by the firm for dealing with “settlement related purposes”.
However, when looking at the amount of dough that a company like FB rakes in annually, this fine seems quite trivial and somewhat of a joke.
A Closer Look At The Matter
When looked at closely, we can see that Facebook was recently caught “harvesting user data” without holding the required consent forms from its clients. This data, as per many reports, was then used by the multinational to build voter profiles and help various political entities in polarizing their vote banks.
For those of our readers who might not be aware, the FTC is responsible for protecting the rights of consumers in these types of situations. In this regard, it should also be pointed out that back in 2012, Google too was fined a total of $22 million for making use of a dishonest tracking tool to mislead its customers.
Was The Fine On Facebook Enough?
While a $3 Billion fine seems hefty at first, when compared to the profits that Facebook brings in from its core businesses alone (a number that is somewhere around $15 billion), we can see that the company is still sitting on a massive storehouse of money.
Another way of looking at this scenario is that the aforementioned privacy violations that probably helped FB rake in an insane amount of money only costed them $3 billion in fines.
On the subject Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, was quoted as saying:
“This would be a joke of a fine — a two-weeks-of-revenue, parking-ticket-level penalty for destroying democracy.”
- The aforementioned fine slapped by the FTC is a minor inconvenience that FB’s coffers can quite easily absorb without any major issue.
- Alternatively, even if FB was to be dissolved today due to its various offenses, the firm still has enough money to coalesce into a different form.
In closing out this piece, it should be pointed out that a number of people are of the opinion that in order to bring in more transparency into this murky domain, a blockchain driven system should be used by firms so as to monitor all of their security protocols as well as their profit distribution efforts. To be a bit more specific, we can see that decentralized blockchains will provide users with sole access to their data (via the use of private keys) and thereby eliminate many of the issues commonly associated with:
- Security violations
- Unauthorized sales
Last but not least, it should be noted that until a time comes when consumers have full control over their data, the profit margins for big-name players such as Twitter, Google, Facebook will remain too huge for them to not indulge in nefarious/illegal activities again and again