THE ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER (EPIC) is hoping to challenge the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) in court in an exciting battle of the acronyms.
The former is deeply unimpressed with the latter's $5bn settlement with Facebook over its privacy failings and has requested a court hearing to consider the fairness of the decision.
Now $5bn may sound a lot to you (with apologies if you're one of the 2,000-odd billionaires in the world), but to Facebook, it's chump change. Facebook, lest we forget, is a $571bn company, and while a $5bn fine certainly stings, so do wasps, only with more chance of doing lasting damage. In the first quarter of 2019, Facebook made $15bn: it'll live.
But the size of the bill - which is still the largest fine ever for a tech company - is only part of the problem. The other is that the settlement sees Zuckerberg's company avoiding any culpability for its action, with the terms allowing for Facebook to avoid admitting guilt over privacy and data breaches.
"The proposed order wipes Facebook's slate clean without Facebook even having to admit guilt for its privacy violations," the group's complaint reads.
On top of that, the settlement grants blanket immunity from any known complaints filed between 2011 - when the company signed a consent decree with the FTC - and June 12 2019. EPIC says that there have been at least 26,000 such complaints in that period - 8,000 of which were in 2018.
It wasn't a complete let off for Facebook, though. Part of the settlement requires the formation of a 20-year privacy committee, and some of that privacy is from Mark Zuckerberg, who isn't invited. Nor is he allowed to dismiss any of the directors on said committee.
But as slaps on the wrist go, this one was pretty mild. It'll be interesting to see if EPIC has any joy in making the slap leave more of a mark. µ
Firm's first high-end speaker gets the thumbs up from us
Yes. Yes you can
A fantastic ultraportable that's almost devoid of innovation
Screen if you want to go faster