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By Bruce Sussman
Wed | Jul 24, 2019 | 8:00 AM PDT

We love the way Facebook mentioned it will pay a record $5 billion fine to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In a blog post, the company wrote three paragraphs about how it has agreed to a groundbreaking new privacy framework and "fundamental shift" in how it does business.

And then in paragraph four: Oh, yeah, by the way, this happened, too.

"In reaching this settlement, we have also agreed to pay a $5 billion penalty—multiple times what any previous company has paid the FTC—in order to resolve allegations that we violated our 2012 consent order."

Facebook says it is trying to rebuild trust with customers

The company readily admits it messed up and it's trying to change that:

"The FTC's investigation was initiated after the events around Cambridge Analytica last year. Our handling of this matter was a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who depend on us to protect their data. This agreement is not only about regulators, it's about rebuilding trust with people."

Facebook announces new 'privacy framework'

Facebook says it is now creating a new privacy framework for handling data that surpasses U.S. law. And it hopes other companies will emulate what is happening at Facebook. Here's an overview:


Facebook's new privacy controls

Facebook compares its new approach to highly-regulated industries, such as finance:

"It introduces more stringent processes to identify privacy risks, more documentation of those risks, and more sweeping measures to ensure that we meet these new requirements. Going forward, our approach to privacy controls will parallel our approach to financial controls, with a rigorous design process and individual certifications intended to ensure that our controls are working—and that we find and fix them when they are not."

Facebook also settles SEC complaint

And lastly, the company says it also settled Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) action against it by agreeing to a $100 million fine.

Critics in both Congress and industry have long poked fun at the many  times Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has apologized to Congress and promised to do better.

The company seemed to acknowledge this in its blog post on the settlements:

"We have heard that words and apologies are not enough and that we need to show action. By resolving both the SEC and the FTC investigations, we hope to close this chapter and turn our focus and resources toward the future."

And here we go, to the future.

Tags: Facebook, FTC, Privacy,