FTC Investigating Facebook Over Data Protection Violations

Today’s topics include calls for social media regulation after a Facebook massive user data breach, and Huawei and Xiaomi introduce new high-end smartphone models.

On March 26, Tom Pahl, the FTC’s acting director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, confirmed they are investigating Facebook for violations of a 2012 consent decree that established requirements for how Facebook protects user data.

Facebook was already in trouble with its users following revelations that Cambridge Analytica used misappropriated user data to target political ads during the 2016 election campaign.

Pahl said, “The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. … The FTC has an open non-public investigation into these practices.”

The penalties for violating such an agreement with the FTC include fines of up to $40,000 per violation. In addition, the FTC can make the consent decree even stronger by subjecting Facebook to greater regulation.

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi introduced three new top-of-the-line smartphone models on March 27.

The Mi Mix S2 handset, which will be sold in the U.S., includes a six-inch IPS LCD display, improved artificial intelligence capabilities and a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Prices will start at about $527 in China on April 3 and will be available in other countries in the future.

Huawei’s new P20 and P20 Pro models will not be sold in the U.S. but will feature 5.8-inch and 6.1-inch screens, respectively, and include Kirin 970 processors, while the P20 Pro includes three Leica camera lenses. The P20 with 128GB of storage is expected to sell for about $805, while a P20 Pro with 128GB of storage will sell for about $1,115.