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Facebook Policy

Zuckerberg Could Be Singled Out in FTC Deal

The Federal Trade Commission is weighing whether to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally accountable for user privacy, as part of the regulator’s investigation into whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent decree to protect personal information, the Washington Post reported, citing two people familiar with the discussions. One thing being considered, the Post said, is making Mr. Zuckerberg certify the company’s privacy practices periodically to the board of directors.

The FTC opened the investigation last year after it was revealed that the personal information of 87 million Facebook users was shared with political firm Cambridge Analytica without the users’ consent. The possibility that Mr. Zuckerberg, whom Facebook has sought to shield from personal liability, might not escape individual scrutiny for his role in the company’s many privacy mishaps suggests regulators are more intent on cracking down on violations than in the past.

Regulators considered holding Mr. Zuckerberg personally accountable back in 2011, documents obtained by the Post show, and also contemplated punishing Facebook by making the company pay back a sum of money raised through illegal or wrongful means, but ultimately scrapped both those ideas.

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