With 3 votes in favor to 2 against the members of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) would have decided to sanction Menlo Park with a fine of 5 billion dollars for the case Cambridge Analytica. Against of Facebook the commissioners close to the Republican Party would have expressed themselves, while the democratic exponents would have tried to avoid the severe punishment.
At this point the ball will pass into the hands of theUnited States Department of Justice who will have to assess the adequacy of the sentence. According to the previous ones in the relations between the two institutions there should be no particular surprises, in the past in fact only in very few cases the Department of Justice would have ruled against an initiative of the FTC.
For the moment, Mark Zuckerberg and his associates would have avoided commenting on the decision, however it is likely that the company opted for a strategy based on maximum caution. The Justice Department does not act on the basis of pre-established timescales and making statements that interfere with its operations could prove counterproductive.
Thus a challenging investigation focused on the protection of privacy came to an end in March last year. According to current rumors, Menlo Park would have already set aside around 3 billion dollars to meet the penalty, a figure that will necessarily have to be integrated with more than likely negative reactions from investors.
In this regard it is useful to remember that previously the highest fine ever established by the FTC was "only" 22.5 million dollars for Google. In that case the Mountain View company was sanctioned for a question related to the use of tracking cookies represented in a way that was not sufficiently transparent to the users of the Safari browser.