Privacy Group Challenges FTC’s Small Facebook Settlement, Also Wants an Admission of Guilt

“A consumer privacy group has filed a challenge to Facebook’s $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, saying it is not ‘adequate, reasonable or appropriate’ and lets the social media giant off the hook for years of violations,” reports the AP.

The Verge argues that the current consensus is “the FTC gave the company a slap on the wrist, and Facebook’s latest earnings report showed the social network earning three times as much in revenue as the FTC fine in just three months.”

Now, EPIC wants to potentially force the agency to alter the terms of the deal to better address complaints filed by individuals and consumer groups. EPIC takes issue not just with the relatively low size of the fine, which, while the biggest ever for a tech company, is barely a drop in the bucket for the $571 billion company. The group is also upset with how Facebook effectively avoided culpability for its actions, as part of the settlement allowed the company to avoid admitting any guilt over massive privacy and data security scandals, like Cambridge Analytica, that landed it in hot water with the agency.

EPIC also wants a court to decide whether the FTC should have granted Facebook blanket immunity from past legal challenges and if the scope of the settlement can be broadened to include issues like Facebook’s widespread use of facial recognition on users without their consent and violations of children’s privacy.
EPIC complains that the deal would extinguish more than 26,000 consumer complaints against Facebook that are currently pending at the FTC.

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