back to article Roses are red, Facebook will pay, to make Uncle Sam go away: Zuck, FTC in $bn settlement rumor

Facebook is reportedly close to breaking out its checkbook to settle the FTC's legal rumblings over the antisocial network's unique approach to netizens' privacy. The tech giant, led by warm bread enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg, will cough up several billion dollars to disappear allegations it violated the privacy of its users by …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Hope?

    So the Ferals might actually do some good and smack Suckerberg upside the head with a big enough stick to make hurt. Now if the EU would get with the program we might be rid of the vermin.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Hope?

      I'm afraid that following the usual US settlement way, Zuck won't admit any wrongdoing, and will just pay what looks very much alike hush money. Not different from what happened to Google when it was found promoting the illegal sales of drugs.

      It's very different from a fine with legal consequences because evidences are found, validated and made public you broke the rules.

      Let's hope EU will follow a different path.

  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Bars!

    This sort of thing is going to be a big problem going forward. If companies can just make it go away by paying a fine, it will just be looked at as a cost of doing business when they get caught. If a few top execs have to spend some time in the lockup, maybe they'd be a little more careful flogging off personal information that they shouldn't. I doubt Zuck would be too happy spending even 60 days in jail with no internet and monitored phone calls.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bars!

      "If companies can just make it go away by paying a fine, it will just be looked at as a cost of doing business when they get caught"

      Even worse it it's a once and for all payment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bars!

        The FTC almost always fines on a consent degree basis, so Facebook would have to commit to no longer doing the bad stuff in the future and may have one or more government employees at their HQ to keep an eye on them.

        The biggest risk isn't that the fine is one and done, it is that every time you get a new administration, there's a chance for a different outlook. Just like Obama era regulatory actions against coal companies were disappeared under Trump, similar things could happen if a democrat takes office in 2021 and installs more Facebook friendly FTC appointees.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Author wrote: "netizens' privacy"

    When it comes to FB I automatically read: "netizens' piracy"

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Confess, pennance, "do it again"

    this is what I expect from Fa[e]cebook.

    After they confess, pay the fine, and the investigations stop, will they turn over a new leaf?

    _I_ _DON'T_ _THINK_ _SO_!!!

    Yeah, after they wash away their sins, with the fresh scented "sinner's soap" of FTC fines and promises not to do it again, it will merely leave them with that "do it again" scent so they can rinse and repeat...

  5. Kez

    Was there ever any doubt?

    Was there ever any doubt that the feds would allow Zuck off with little more than a slap on the wrist? If they had demanded *real* action to curtail Facebook's data collection practices, then Facebook's usefulness to US three letter agencies would be severely dented!

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues."

    I'm not sure the HoC Select Committee agrees.

  7. ElRegoColombia

    "Pleged", nice of them. I plege a charity to make a donation

  8. gnarlymarley

    lump sum?

    Who are we kidding here? Facebook would just rework the numbers and mysteriously make $16bn this next quarter. Business are just tax collectors and in this case Facebook would rework the system so that they would get a tax discount as well as making the money paid to the ferals back. As with all crooked corporations, this "settlement" will change nothing.

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