Facebook gets $5bn fine over privacy violations

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees hearing regarding the company’s use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The US Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a fine of about five billion dollars for Facebook over privacy violations, according to a report.

It comes after an FTC investigation into allegations that the social media platform inappropriately shared the information of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, is now closed.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the vote was 3-2 along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the fine.

In most cases the Justice Department’s civil division will review settlements by the FTC but it is not clear how long this will take but it could be as early as next week.

As well as the fine, the settlement could include rules on how Facebook treats the privacy of its users.

Despite being the largest fine the FTC has approved on a tech company, it is unlikely to trouble Facebook’s coffers.