Facebook Data Scandal

The $5 billion Facebook fine is embarrassingly weak

The $5 billion Facebook fine is embarrassingly weak

On Friday the US Federal Trade Commission handed Facebook a $5 billion fine for its involvement with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and for breaking its 2011 agreement with the organization. But here’s the real kicker: the government spent months trying to come up with a suitable punishment for Facebook — but it ended up handing it one that increased the stock price and value of the company.

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A brief timeline of Facebook's recent privacy issues

A brief timeline of Facebook's recent privacy issues

It seems like Facebook has been battling crisis after crisis over the numerous privacy issues it has had to deal with in the last year. But the company has never been too good at privacy — after all, when we share more, the company is able to make more money — and it all started back in 2006, just when the company was getting its footing. This all caused the FTC to become involved, launching a lawsuit that forced the company to not make “misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers' personal information” and “obtain consumers' affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences.” Now because of the recent issues Facebook has faced, the company is being re-examined for breaking its promises.

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Facebook makes more money off users in the US and Canada than Europeans

Facebook makes more money off users in the US and Canada than Europeans

According to Facebook’s Q4 earnings report, a user in the United States or Canada is much more valuable than one in Europe, Asia-Pacific or a user from anywhere else in the world. It’s no surprise that the company is able to make so much money off users — during this quarter, it made nearly $35 per North American user, but only $11 for European users and $3 for users in Asia and the Pacific region. But that should be no surprise, given the large amount of data that the company collects on you, including location, age, school, lines of credit and TV show preference.

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The main takeaways from Facebook's internal documents that the UK released

The main takeaways from Facebook's internal documents that the UK released

British Parliament published a 250-page internal Facebook document on the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee website, which is investigating the company’s privacy standards as a portion of its report on disinformation and fake news. Previously the documents had been sealed in US courts, but they can now provide a rare look into Facebook’s policies on privacy, user data, how it handles competitors and more.

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Facebook stocks have slipped post-scandal and the company is still under immense pressure

Facebook stocks have slipped post-scandal and the company is still under immense pressure

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has noted in previous earning reports that the company would take a hit as it adds more content moderation in a massive hiring spree to control bad information on the platform, alongside improvements to interactions between friends and family, versus from brands and other organizations. The company's CFO, David Wehner, indicated that it would likely continue to have a "negative impact on revenue growth" in the coming quarters as it continues to deal with crisis after crisis.

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In total, Facebook has been sharing user data with 52 companies

In total, Facebook has been sharing user data with 52 companies

It's hardly a secret that Facebook has historically shared user data with other companies which it was partnered with, but now the scope of these deals is a bit more clear thanks to a 747-page document the company released in response to over 1,200 questions asked by the US House Energy & Commerce Committee.

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