FTC Lets Facebook Off the Hook With No Fines for Repeatedly Deceiving Users About Privacy

The FTC has accepted a settlement over its allegation that it repeatedly misled its users about privacy. Facebook was accused of telling users they could keep their information private and then repeatedly disclosing it anyway. Facebook won't take a fine for the privacy violations. Sigh

Under the settlement, the FTC will monitor the company closely for the next 20 years and if it screws up again, Facebook could face fines of $16,000 per violation. Multiplied by millions and millions of users that might actually be enough to keep the Zuck and his cohorts in line.

Facebook originally agreed to settle the FTC's eight-count complaint back in November 2011, but the complaint had to go through a public comment period before it could be approved by a judge as actually being in the public's best interest. Under the settlement Facebook will finally be bound to some rules many people feel like it should have been abiding by in the first place.

But wait, seriously? It's pretty unbelievable that Facebook gets to walk without even the tiniest slap-on-the-wrist of a fine. Let's review: Facebook lures hundreds of people into its product with a false promise, violates that promise, makes millions billions of dollars off the violation, and gets away with it. Basically all Facebook is agreeing to do is what it promised us in the first place. Basically, the FTC is just wagging its finger at Facebook like the mother of a spoiled child and telling bad little Facebook not to do it again. [FTC via IBT]