Following a prolonged negotiation course of that took months, as we speak Fb has agreed to pay a $5 billion tremendous to the US Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) for person information privateness violations. The FTC’s inquiry began after the Cambridge Analytica scandal final 12 months, which harvested the private information of tens of millions of Fb customers with out their consent and used it for political promoting functions.

As a part of the settlement, Fb is promising to make use of a lot better information privateness safeguards sooner or later. Within the firm’s personal phrases:

We shall be extra strong in guaranteeing that we establish, assess and mitigate privateness danger. We are going to undertake new approaches to extra completely doc the choices we make and monitor their impression. And we’ll introduce extra technical controls to raised automate privateness safeguards.

Fb is at present reviewing its methods, searching for points associated to privateness leaks, and can “work swiftly to deal with them” as soon as they’re discovered. It additionally says it will likely be “extra diligent” in the way it screens for abuse, and would require builders to be accountable for the way in which they use information and adjust to its insurance policies.

The corporate claims its two driving ideas any more shall be “transparency and accountability”, with quarterly certifications verifying that its privateness controls are working. This course of “stops on the desk” of Mark Zuckerberg, who will personally “signal his identify to confirm” that Fb did what it stated it will.

There’s additionally going to be a brand new committee of Fb’s board of administrators assembly quarterly to make sure it is dwelling as much as its privacy-related commitments. This committee shall be knowledgeable by an impartial privateness assessor, whose job it’s to evaluate the privateness program and report back to the board after they see alternatives for enchancment.

The FTC and the US Justice Division may have “clear strains of sight at any given level” into how successfully Fb is assembly its new tasks, and the corporate will even broaden its efforts to achieve enter from exterior consultants to verify the whole lot is protected and sound relating to person information.

Moreover, Fb agreed to pay a $100 million penalty to the US Securities and Trade Fee, for failing to say sufficient in regards to the Cambridge Analytica information abuse in its investor disclosures, as soon as it found, in late 2015, {that a} developer had transferred person information to Cambridge Analytica in violation of its insurance policies.

All of this sounds superb, however solely time will inform if Fb has really discovered its lesson and can cease taking part in quick and free with its customers’ non-public information.