The Federal Trade Commission is under pressure to issue a steep fine and other sharp penalties against Facebook to prove that it’s able to keep Silicon Valley in check, privacy advocates and congressional lawmakers say.
Lawmakers on Sunday said Facebook had "violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws" in the country, stressing that the U.K. government should open investigations into the social media giant's business practices.
The fine would be the largest the agency has ever imposed on a technology company, but the two sides have not yet agreed on an exact amount. Facebook has expressed initial concern with the FTC’s demands, one of the people said. If talks break down, the FTC could take the matter to court in what would likely be a bruising legal fight.
It would give the commerce secretary power to stop U.S. companies from doing business with foreign suppliers such as Huawei.
A landmark law adopted in California last year to rein in the data-collection practices of Facebook, Google and other tech giants has touched off a lobbying blitz that could water it down, potentially undermining new protections that might apply to Internet users across the country.
Twitter revealed Thursday it had removed thousands of malicious accounts thought to have originated in Iran, Russia and Venezuela for spreading disinformation online, including previously undisclosed efforts to target the 2018 U.S. midterm election.
Facebook shrugs off controversies and has record quarterly profits as well as growth in monthy active users. The company said it is shutting the app down for Apple users.
Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft spent a combined $64 million to shape U.S. regulation and stave off government scrutiny in 2018, according to ethics reports filed late Tuesday.
The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine the agency imposed on Google in 2012.
In a pair of predawn tweets, the president said Google was silencing conservative media. The company said its searches aren't politically biased.