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The $ 5 billion Facebook FTC is a shameful joke



Facebook stock up went after news of a record-breaking $ 5 billion FTC fine for different privacy violations now broken

That, as New York Times & # 39; This point is the real story here: the United States government has spent months with penalties for the long list of Facebook's privacy-related bad behavior, and the best it can do is Facebook stock prices will climb.

From some other perspectives, the $ 5 billion penalty is a great deal, of course: it's the biggest fine in the history of the FTC, bigger than the $ 22 million penalty imposed against Google in 201

2 And $ 5 billion is a lot of money, make sure. It's like everything that links Facebook scale, it's too small: Facebook has had $ 15 billion in the last quarter of revenue alone, and $ 22 billion in revenue on last year.

The biggest FTC fine in the country's history represents a month of Facebook revenue, and the company is such a great job of telegraphing it with investors whose stock price went up.

Here's another way to say this: the biggest FTC fine in US history has increased the net worth of Mark Zuckerberg.

What do you teach you learn from that? Is there anyone?

That's really the real problem here: penalties and penalties are only effective when they give negative consequences for bad behavior. But Facebook has done nothing but acted badly from the beginning, and it has just hit the pulse of authority figures and is rewarded by the market. After all, Facebook was under a preliminary FTC authorization for privacy violations imposed in 2011, and apparently did not stop any recent corporate scandal going on. As written by Kara Swisher, you need to add another zero to this fine to say anything.

Other elements of the settlement, such as Tony Romm at Washington Post it must be documented how it plans to use data before it launches new products, and as Zuckerberg must promise the company's privacy is protected by the company. But none of these conditions prevent Facebook from collecting and sharing data, and it certainly will not affect the insanely lucrative business of Facebook, which depends on that data.

And as Peter Kafka said, regulatory compliance costs are not exactly a deterrent: Facebook will pay a fine, ate the cost of some more lawyers and PR people to ensure compliance in this new order, and continue in the business of, uh, who has given a new currency around the world while exposing outstanding contractors to scary videos of people killed for $ 15 an hour.

Members of Congress argue about this arrangement – Rep. David Cicilline said that a" Christmas present, "while Senator Ron Wyden said "Senator Richard Blumenthal said the decision was" inadequate "and" hurricane's history, "and Senator Mark Warner for Congress to act. "

Certainly more statements and strong judgments of the FTC in the next few weeks , while the agreement goes to the Department of Justice review and will not be left behind approval. But the words are just words, really. If our government is liable to Facebook for its irreversible and irresponsible behavior, it must be actually done, and in the way that Mark Zuckerberg learned that actions have consequences.


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