It was discovered that Facebook had violated its terms for sharing private information of 87 million of its users to the British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica. The data in question was reportedly used to swing the 2016 US Presidential elections.
Reuters noted that the investigation against Facebook’s violation was primarily tied to the terms the company had earlier set with the FTC in 2011.
Facebook had already set aside $3 billion earlier this year in April when the company announced its Q1 financial results in preparation to the expected fine from the FTC.
The $5 billion fine represents 9% of Facebook’s 2018 revenue which has cultivated outcry from some US Democrat politicians. Although several US Democrat politicians have condemned the fine as “inadequate” – the fine will be the biggest that the FTC ever fined a tech company.
The $5 billion fine is a new record amount ever received by the FTC after a $22.5 million penalty which Google agreed to pay over its privacy practices in 2012.