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Facebook follies: Congress, AGs upload scrutiny on social media giant

Joe Mont | March 28, 2018

Troubles continued this week for social media giant Facebook with confirmation that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the exposure of personal data belonging to an estimated 50 million users is a violation of a 2011 consent decree with the company over privacy failings. The announcement has sent the company’s stock price tumbling and fragged down numerous other tech stocks amid fears that more regulation is the end game of legislators and state officials.

In a worst-case scenario, assessing a $40,000 fine for each violation of Facebook’s consent decree could, theoretically, amount to a company running $2 trillion fine, when assessing a violation to each affected user.

The international political consultant Cambridge Analytica appears to have improperly used the personal data of 50 million Facebook users, without their consent. The company used psychological profiling, made possible by the data, in its well-compensated quest to sway election results...

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