Facebook is finally beginning to feel the heat on issues of user privacy. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been investigating the social media giant’s privacy practices since the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal last spring, and according to a report in The Washington Post this week, regulators are considering an unusual step to punish the company: holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible.
The FTC rarely targets individual executives to pay for their company’s transgressions, but some lawmakers want to come down hard on Zuckerberg to make him an example.
“[He] wasn’t just aware of Facebook’s invasion of consumer privacy, he signed off on it and publicly downplayed legitimate concerns,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said. “Holding Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives personally at fault and liable for further wrongdoing would send a powerful message to business leaders across the country: You will pay a hefty price for skirting the law and deceiving consumers.”
To make matters worse for Facebook, the FTC has also reportedly considered slapping the company with a multibillion dollar fine — smashing its previous record of $22.5 million.
Facebook has been able to dodge legal trouble in the U.S. for a long time, but with increasing public knowledge and pressure from lawmakers, those days seem to be over.
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