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Comment in response to $5 billion Facebook fine – companies need to protect privacy

July 2019 by Alastair Pooley, Chief Information Office at Snow Software

Following the continued concern around Facebook’s $5 billion fine for the mishandling of consumer data, please find below a comment from Alastair Pooley, Chief Information Office at Snow Software:

“The massive $5 billion fine levied on Facebook for mishandling of consumer data certainly made a few headlines. However, the jump in the price of Facebook stock in response to the announcements suggests that markets were concerned that the fine could be larger still. Certainly a behemoth such as Facebook, which earned more than $15bn in revenue in the first three months of 2019 can afford it and perhaps accept it as a cost of their business model. Recognising this, lawmakers are starting to question just how it is possible to hold such companies accountable.

“When lawmakers feel that financial penalties are unlikely to curb behaviour, then minds tend to turn to regulation. Facebook has every reason to comply with the law in future but other companies may, whether because of their size, or because of the sector they work in, have more trouble complying with the new rules. Companies need to protect the privacy of those with whom they have a relationship, as well as being transparent with them so that they know exactly what is being done with their data.”

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