Pointing to countless acts of privacy invasion, advocacy groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook and issue a $2 billion fine after the agency concludes its investigation of the social media giant’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the groups argued in a letter Thursday to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons that severe action is necessary to curb Facebook’s privacy practices, The Hill reported
“Given that Facebook’s violations are so numerous in scale, severe in nature, impactful for such a large portion of the American public and central to the company’s business model, and given the company’s massive size and influence over American consumers, penalties and remedies that go far beyond the Commission’s recent actions are called for,” the groups wrote.
Along with the massive fine, the groups want Facebook to be ordered to divest from subsidiaries such as WhatsApp and Instagram.
The FTC is examining whether Facebook violated a consent agreement it made with the agency in 2011 that required the company not to misrepresent its privacy practices.
Signatories of the letter to the agency included Open Markets Institute, the civil rights group Color of Change and Common Sense Media.
The Hill said there’s been “little indication that the agency would consider breaking up Facebook — a remedy used primarily in antitrust cases — over a privacy matter.”
The Cambridge Analytica scandal emerged in March 2018 when it was revealed that Facebook allowed the British consulting firm to harvest the personal data of some 87 million Facebook users.
WND reported Thursday that Google and Facebook, together, command 80 percent of the internet ad market.