On July 24, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) handed Facebook a $5 billion penalty for continuously misrepresenting to its users how it was sharing their personal data. The $5 billion penalty is the largest civil penalty imposed for a data privacy violation and puts companies on notice that the FTC is serious about how companies collect, use and share personal data. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, in addition to the $5 billion penalty, Facebook is required to: 1) create a new Board of Directors committee focused solely on privacy-related risks and compliance matters (effectively removing decisions involving consumer privacy from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg); and 2) submit quarterly certification reports attesting to the fact that Facebook is in compliance with the FTC order and Facebook’s privacy program. These measures have been implemented as a result of Facebook’s violation of a 2012 settlement order with the FTC, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and other general allegations of user data mishandling.
What were the terms of the 2012 consent order?