Congress is getting restless with a federal investigation into Facebook’s privacy policies.
Monday, two senators phoned on the Federal Trade Commission to close an investigation into the social network, which has been under the microscope for having breached an earlier deal with the federal government about misusing its members’ information. In a letter, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, phoned the FTC to conclude its probe and “compel sweeping modifications” to Facebook’s privacy practices. The pair additionally requested the FTC to hold individual executives, which may embody CEO Mark Zuckerberg, answerable.
The request comes midst rising expectations the FTC and Facebook are negotiating at a charge of $5 billion, which might be the largest ever exacted by the firm. In a revenue report last month, Facebook prepared funders for such a fine, saying it’d already put aside funds to cowl at least a part of it.
A charge, no matter its size, might not be sufficient to satisfy the two senators, who phoned the FTC to focus on individual executives for punishment.
“Even a charge in the billions is a write-down for the corporate, and large penalties have done little to discourage massive tech firms,” the senators wrote. “The FTC must impose tough accountability measures and penalties for individual executives and managers liable for breaching of the consent order and privacy failures.” The consent order refers to a 2011 pact Facebook signed with the federal government.
The FTC investigation begins from Facebook’s defeat to regulate the information of around 87 million users. That data landed in the pockets of Cambridge Analytica, a UK political consultancy accused of using the information to manipulate political campaigns, along with the Brexit vote and the 2016 presidential election campaign that resulted in the election of Donald Trump.