Federal regulators are considering holding Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg accountable for the company’s handling of users’ personal data, the Washington Port reported late Thursday. The issue of targeting Zuckerberg has been brought up in the FTC’s settlement talks with Facebook concerning its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Post reported. Sanctioning a tech CEO would be a rare move by the FTC, and could serve as a shot across the bow to other tech executives amid a growing public and political backlash to privacy and the handling of user data. Options could potentially include forcing Zuckerberg to periodically certify Facebook’s privacy practices, heightened oversight by the FTC or even financial penalties, the Post said. Earlier this year, the Post reported Facebook could end up paying a record-breaking fine, in the multi-billion-dollars range, to avoid a court battle. Facebook’s privacy problems grew Thursday, as the company admitted far more Instagram passwords were inappropriately stored in plain text on its internal servers than were originally reported, and a report that its “unintentional” uploading of 1.5 billion users’ email contact data without their consent may have broken U.S. and EU laws.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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