SCARS|EDUCATION™ Advocacy: What The FTC Facebook Settlement Means For Consumers

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SCARS|EDUCATION™ Advocacy: What The FTC Facebook Settlement Means For Consumers7 min read

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SCARS|EDUCATION™ Advocacy: What The FTC Facebook Settlement Means For Consumers

The Next Time Users Visit Facebook, Things Might Not Look Different, But Big Changes Are Brewing Behind The Scenes

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The FTC’s record-breaking $5 billion settlement requires Facebook to conduct a massive overhaul of its consumer privacy practices. The settlement also makes major changes to Facebook’s operations and CEO Mark Zuckerberg no longer has sole control over privacy.

First, some background. Facebook is a social networking site, but it makes money by serving up targeted ads based on users’ personal information. Many consumers are hesitant about sharing certain data, so Facebook calms that concern by promising that people can control the privacy of their information through the platform’s privacy settings.

The FTC sued Facebook in 2012 for making misleading promises about the extent to which consumers could keep their personal information private. For example, Facebook told users they could select settings to make information available just to “friends.” But despite that promise, Facebook allowed apps used by those friends to access consumers’ information, a decision that put money in Facebook’s pocket. The 2012 FTC order put penalties in place if Facebook made misleading statements in the future about consumers’ control over the privacy of their personal information.

According to the FTC, that’s just what happened. Facebook violated the order by again giving companies access to information that consumers said they didn’t want to share. The FTC also alleges Facebook made other misleading statements about how it used facial recognition, consumers’ cell phone numbers, and other personal data.

Here Are Three Things To Know About The FTC’s History-Making Settlement With Facebook:

  1. FACEBOOK WILL PAY THE LARGEST CIVIL PENALTY BY ANYONE ANYWHERE EVER IN A PRIVACY CASE

    The $5 billion settlement is one for the record books. It’s the largest civil penalty ever imposed on a company for violating consumers’ privacy and it’s one of the largest penalties assessed by the U.S. government for a violation of any kind. That tells you just how seriously the FTC takes it when companies break their privacy promises. The settlement also sets a new benchmark if companies fail to honor their promises in the future. (In case you’re wondering about the $5 billion, by law, it goes to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury. It does not go to the FTC.)
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  2. THE SETTLEMENT REQUIRES FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES AT FACEBOOK AND REMOVES CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG AS THE COMPANY’S CONSUMER PRIVACY DECISION-MAKER!

    The order establishes a new era of privacy transparency at Facebook and at WhatsApp and Instagram, which Facebook owns. It creates an independent committee of Facebook’s board of directors to oversee privacy decisions and requires an independent third-party assessor to evaluate the effectiveness of Facebook’s privacy program. Mark Zuckerberg also must certify every quarter that Facebook is in compliance with the new privacy program. Any false certification will be subject to civil – and criminal – penalties.
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  3. AS FACEBOOK PUTS ITS NEW PRIVACY PROGRAM IN PLACE, CONSUMERS SHOULD TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT THEIR SETTINGS

    How much personal information do you really want to share? A platform’s default settings may not be your most privacy-protective option. Whether it’s Facebook or any other platform, revisit your toolbars, privacy settings, etc., to make sure the system is set up to honor your choices and preferences.

While This Will Not Have Much Impact On Scammers Initially …

This does mean that the federal government will inside of Facebook for many years. This will give them more insight and more control over Facebook for years to come, and complaints and advocacy, such as from SCARS and others, will be able to impact Facebook more directly and rapidly than ever before!

 

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

 

SCARS|EDUCATION™ Team
A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

 

TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, FTC, Federal Trade Commission Facebook Steelement, Facebook FTC Settlement, Facebook, Facebook Priacy Changes, Facebook Privacy Policy, Facebook Oversight

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SCARS|EDUCATION™ RomanceScamsNow.com™ is the official knowledge and victims' support publication of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams™ Incorporated [SCARS]™ It is edited and published by the SCARS Team. Contact@AgainstScams.org SCARS is the world's leading anti-scam charitable nonprofit nongovernmental organization, based in Miami Florida U.S.A. Its founder has been involved in combating online fraud since 1991. SCARS™ - the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. is a charitable nonprofit nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to advocating victim's causes and changing government and law enforcement attitudes toward online fraud for good! Please join us in becoming a member of SCARS - it's free! Add your voice so that the world will listen at last - just go to www.AgainstScams.org. The SCARS|RSN website and all of our publications (including social media) are maintained by our own staff employees and volunteers to provide you the most up to date information about scams & scammers from around the world. We show you how to avoid them or recover from them. SCARS is the only registered online crime victims' assistance & support organization in the world. Be sure to report scammers here. Also, visit our main Facebook page for more information about romance scams.

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