The Electronic Privacy Information Center and a host of advocacy groups have written to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it’s time to seriously consider breaking up Facebook.
“The companies should be reestablished as independent entities and Facebook should be required to disgorge the personal data unlawfully acquired from those firms. This will also help restore competition and innovation for Internet messaging and photo app services, two important goals for the future of the Internet economy.” – Letter to FTC
As the FTC wraps up its investigation into the social media giant for its handling of the Cambridge Analytics scandal, the groups told the FTC “modest enforcement actions” would be inadequate to stop FB’s abuses of privacy. The FTC is examining whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent order issued after FB agreed not to misrepresent its privacy policies.
“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.” – EPIC letter to FTC
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
The group recommended the FTC force Facebook to impose a fine of “at least $2 billion” and divest themselves of Instagram and WhatsApp.
“Throughout its history, Facebook has misled its users and undermined their privacy,” EPIC said in detailing some of the privacy abuses.