Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook is negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission over a possible multi-billion dollar fine to settle an investigation into privacy violations by the firm, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Why it matters: Previous FTC privacy fines levied against tech firms have been in the (low) millions, not billions. A major fine would send a message to Facebook — and other tech giants — that the commission is determined to rein in careless treatment of user privacy.

The background: The Post story follows its report last month that the agency’s commissioners had met to discuss a possible fine — a sign that the probe into the company, which were made public with the Cambridge Analytica revelations last March, was further along.

  • Facebook and the FTC reached an agreement on privacy in 2011, and critics say that the Cambridge Analytica affair and other Facebook data controversies show that the company has repeatedly violated that settlement.

What's next: If Facebook fails to reach a settlement with the FTC, the agency can seek remedies in court.

Go deeper

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!