After the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook was fined by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and it was revealed that the company paid an extra amount, $4,9 billion, to protect the platform's founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
The agreed amount was necessary to remove the CEO's name from the FTC's process and complaints. In the conviction, the Court understood that Facebook did not act correctly with users, as it was not clear in relation to what type of data third-party companies were entitled to.
The FTC's investigation into the case Facebook-Cambridge Analytica was triggered by allegations that the social network violated a 2012 consent decree. The principle was violated because of sharing information belonging to 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica. Today's penalty was unanimously decreed by the FTC.
Lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg
“Mark Zuckerberg, [Head of Operations Sheryl] Sandberg and other Facebook directors have agreed to authorize a multi-billion dollar deal with the FTC as an express exchange to protect Zuckerberg from being cited in the FTC's complaint, subject to personal liability or even required to sit for a deposition,” says a lawsuit filed by Facebook shareholders, according to The Guardian.
According to the process, if the Facebook CEO had he been mentioned in the lawsuit, he might have suffered “extensive damage to his reputation. The risk would have been highly relevant for Mark Zuckerberg, who is extremely sensitive about his public image and was reported to have political ambitions,” he adds.
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Shareholders also criticize the way Facebook avoided investigating its founder. “The board never did a serious check on Zuckerberg's unrestricted authority. Instead, it empowered him, defended him and paid billions of dollars from Facebook's corporate coffers to solve his problems,” he concludes.
Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, said on Twitter that the allegation is not new and is being resolved. “To portray this as some kind of new claim is wrong. The suggestion that we overpay or underpay this deal is not new and is something we will address during the litigation,” explained Stone.
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