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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

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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