The Federal Trade Commission approved an approximately $5 billion settlement with Facebook over the company’s 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Several other news outlets separately reported the approval.
The fine represents the largest ever imposed by the FTC against a tech company. Previously, the US federal agency’s largest fine against a tech company came in 2012 when Google agreed to pay a $22.5 million penalty due to its privacy practices. The fine would represent approximately 9% of Facebook’s 2018 revenues.
The FTC began probing Facebook in March 2018 following reports that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users. The agency was concerned that Facebook had violated the terms of a 2011 agreement, which required Facebook to give users very clear notifications when their data was being shared with third parties.