Regulators around the world are becoming increasingly tired with Facebook’s privacy violations. Lawmakers have also felt more emboldened to take action against the social media giant — including U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who introduced a sweeping new data privacy bill this week that features harsh penalties if Facebook fails to meet security standards.
The bill, called the Mind Your Own Business Act, would allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to fine tech platforms up to four percent of its annual revenue for a first-time violation. It would also make it a crime for senior tech executives to knowingly lie about privacy issues.
“[The bill] is based on three basic ideas: Consumers must be able to control their own private information, companies must provide vastly more transparency about how they use and share our data; and corporate executives need to be held personally responsible when they lie about protecting our personal information,” Wyden said.
“Mark Zuckerberg won’t take Americans’ privacy seriously unless he feels personal consequences,” he continued. “A slap on the wrist from the FTC won’t do the job, so under my bill he’d face jail time for lying to the government.”
The threat of jail time is certainly extreme, and while the odds of that ever happening are basically zero, it’s still a good idea to escalate the rhetoric. If nothing else, it draws public attention to Facebook’s many privacy and data security problems.
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