The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a settlement with Facebook that will see the social media giant hit with a roughly $5 billion fine over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The matter has been moved to the Justice Department’s civil division and it is unclear how long it will take to finalize, the person said. Justice Department reviews are part of the FTC’s procedure but typically don’t change the outcome of an FTC decision.
A settlement is expected to include other government restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy. The additional terms of the settlement couldn’t immediately be learned.
The scandal revolved around data firm Cambridge Analytica, which improperly collected information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent to create targeted political advertisements during the 2016 campaign.
The data collection came through an app called “This Is Your Digital Life,” which requested that Facebook users complete a survey for academic use. In reality, the app’s permissions allowed it to collect personal information on not just the Facebook users who took the survey but also their friends.
Facebook revamped its privacy practices in the wake of the scandal, but the company still faced investigations by regulators over multiple security lapses and marked a significant moment in efforts to raise awareness about digital privacy.
Apple CEO Tim Cook called the Cambridge Analytica situation “dire” and has on multiple occasions called for increased regulation to protect user privacy.
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