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HuffPost: Critics Say Facebook Penalty Is A Slap On The Wrist As Stock Prices Surge

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For many data and privacy activists, the $5 billion fine reportedly handed down to Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission is wildly insufficient.

The FTC voted to approve the fine on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The penalty comes as part of a settlement that would also require the company to transform its privacy practices. However, as The New York Times reported, the deal wouldn’t restrict Facebook’s ability to collect and share its users’ data with third parties.

If authorized by the Justice Department, it would be the largest fine the FTC has ever levied against a tech company.

Freedom from Facebook, an anti-Facebook coalition, described the punishment as a slap on the wrist and called on Congress to investigate the FTC. Republicans on the commission reportedly voted in favor of the settlement against Democrats, 3-2.

“Trump’s FTC commissioners have rolled over the monopoly, voting 3-2 for a slap-on-the-wrist settlement with Facebook,” the group said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “The FTC continues to lay bare their inability to protect American consumers and markets and Congress needs to investigate the FTC’s wanton disregard of their duties.”

While $5 billion is a record-breaking penalty, it likely won’t affect the company in a lasting way. Facebook set aside $3 billion earlier this year in anticipation of the fine. The company also made a profit of $22 billion last year and brought in $15 billion in revenue last quarter.

The punishment did have an effect on the stock market. After news of the fine made headlines on Friday, Facebook’s stock price surged to its highest point in nearly a year.

Read the full article on the HuffPost. 

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