Facebook's settlement with US regulators likely to include WhatsApp

Published: May 3, 2019
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A Facebook sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018.
PHOTO: REUTERS

A Facebook sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY: Facebook’s potential settlement with US regulators over breaches of consumer data privacy is nearing completion, and the agreement will likely include its WhatsApp messaging service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Politico reported on Wednesday that Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were negotiating a possible settlement that would require the company to create an independent privacy oversight committee and take other steps to safeguard users.

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The FTC has been investigating revelations that Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The probe has focused on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 agreement with the FTC to safeguard user privacy.

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Facebook announced last week that it had set aside $3 billion to cover the settlement.

It was not immediately clear whether Instagram, another Facebook-owned service, would also be covered under the settlement, the Wall Street Journal report said.

Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.

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