Facebook’s Privacy Probe Maybe far From Over
American Congress summoning Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and asking ‘silly’ questions about Facebook’s operations and privacy policies did make some headlines and social media chatter last year. However, it seems as if the probe into Facebook’s privacy policies and commitments is far from over as the Irish regulators are conducting almost a dozen different investigations into the same matter after not being convinced by latest privacy push by Zuckerberg.
As various tech giants have their European headquarters in the country, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) enjoys jurisdiction into these matters under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was implemented just a year ago. GDPR aims at giving more control to users related to their privacy and personal data online.
Companies that fail to comply with the law may find themselves facing fines of 20 million Euros or 4% of the company’s global revenue, whichever is bigger. As per previous year revenue, it could mean a fine of up to $2 billion for Facebook if it fails to satisfy the Irish commission.
Helen Dixon, Commissioner for Irish DPC, told in the latest interview that the commission is still considering whether or not Zuckerberg and his company is serious about a radical shift towards more better security and privacy of the social media platform. Investigations on some of the 11 cases are expected to conclude within a few months.
Dixon further told that she has met different Facebook executives and have had “some conversations” with the FTC as well. The Irish DPC is also investigating 20 more cases of similar nature that pertain to other US tech giants, including Google, Apple, and Twitter, with the aim of analyzing tech companies’ influence of lives of people and their privacy concerns.
Facebook, in a public statement, told that the company is fully cooperating with the FTC investigation. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal claimed that Zuckerberg was well aware of the platform’s potential privacy issues arising from the company’s business practices but decided not to take any notice of it. Facebook saw a visible decline in its share price after this media report.
After facing serious backlash from regulators, politicians and certain segments of the civil society due to a series of data breaches and privacy scandals, Zuckerberg provided his vision of a privacy-driven future for Facebook. The social media giant expects to pay up to $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission over violation of privacy breach scandal of 2011.