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US FTC tells Facebook to create new privacy positions

Washington, May 2 (IANS) Embroiled in users’ data scandals, Facebook is set to create new privacy positions within the company that would include a committee, and external evaluator and a chief compliance officer, The New York Times reported.

As part of its settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, the social media giant would have no choice but to “strengthen its privacy practices”.

“The proposed commitments are part of negotiations between the agency and Facebook to settle privacy violations. Both have been talking for months over claims that Facebook violated a 2011 privacy consent decree,” said the report on Thursday.

The Facebook case is being looked at as a measure of the Donald Trump administration’s willingness to regulate US tech companies.

Facebook has already kept aside $3 billion, anticipating a record fine coming from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that involved 87 million users.

“In the first quarter of 2019, we reasonably estimated a probable loss and recorded an accrual of $3 billion in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices,” the social networking giant wrote in its earnings statement last month.

“We estimate that the range of loss in this matter is $3 billion to $5 billion,” said Facebook.

The US FTC judgment on Facebook’s privacy violation is slated to come later this year.

On Tuesday, Facebook unveiled new looks and features for Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said gaining users’ trust is his top agenda.

“I know we don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now. I am committed to doing this well.

“This is a fundamental shift in how we build products and run our company,” said the Facebook CEO.



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