Facebook has found itself in a whole range of problems over the past couple of years, and many of the problems struck at the very heart of its business. Other than issues related to failure to block advertisements bought by Russians in the lead up to the United States Presidential elections, there was a range of other issues that had dogged the company, and the biggest one was that it had failed to properly protect the privacy of the users on its platform. Considering the fact that Facebook’s well-being and revenues are ultimately rooted to its user base, it was a body blow for the company.
However, that was not all, as the Federal Trade Commission soon took an interest in the matter and it was believed that Facebook could be in for a very tough time if the entire thing became part of an official probe. However, that is no longer going to take place as the company reached a settlement with the FTC and has agreed to pay $5 billion for having failed to protect its users’ privacy. That being said, the final vote from the 5 FTC commissioners who presided over the whole thing proved to be a very close run thing, and the final tally of votes was 3-2 in favor of the settlement.
According to many reports, the voting seemed to have been influenced by the political difference between the five commissioners. While the Republican commissioners voted in favor of the settlement, the Democrats opposed it. However, since the Democrats had been outnumbered in the panel, Facebook managed to get away with a fine, albeit a pretty hefty one. However, it is important to note that earlier on this year, Facebook had in fact announced in its quarterly report that it was keeping aside around $5 billion in order to fund a settlement with the FTC. It seems the shadow over the company has been lifted for the time being, and it is going to be able to work on its business once again after having gone through a very trying period.