MANILA, Philippines – The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking direct aim at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for the social media platform’s mishandling of private data.
According to The Washington Post, who cited 2 sources close to the matter, discussions to hold Zuckerberg accountable come amid talks between Facebook and the FTC to settle an ongoing investigation of Facebook’s privacy lapses.
The FTC reportedly began the probe in March 2018 when the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolded. It centers on whether or not Facebook broke the agreement made with the agency in 2011 to improve its privacy practices.
Zuckerberg in the same year was spared from fines for future privacy violations when Facebook reached a settlement with the FTC.
Federal regulators do not often go after executives when enforcing penalties for a company’s missteps, but they might soon make an exception for Facebook’s founder.
They have entertained the idea of requiring Zuckerberg or other Facebook executives to periodically certify the company’s privacy practices to the board of directors.
Former members of the agency are also said to be encouraging investigators to put Zuckerberg under additional oversight, which some US lawmakers agree to.
“Holding Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives personally at fault and liable for further wrongdoing would send a powerful message to business leaders across the country: You will pay a hefty price for skirting the law and deceiving consumers," US Senator Richard Blumenthal said.
Talks between Facebook and the FTC have allegedly “intensified” in recent weeks, but it’s still unclear when the two would reach a settlement.
If these talks break down, Facebook could be hit with billions of dollars in fines and Zuckerberg could face punishment. – Rappler.com