Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 Developer Conference in April. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While Facebook's privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission includes a record $5 billion fine, its most important provisions lie in new restrictions it places on the company's practices.

Why it matters: The settlement's effectiveness will lie in whether these terms end up protecting consumers — yet policymakers on both sides of the aisle are already saying they don't go far enough.

Details: The settlement takes steps the FTC's Republican majority hopes will be enough to stop another Cambridge Analytica-style privacy disaster.

  • Facebook will not be allowed to use user phone numbers, when they are provided for security features like two-factor authentication, to target advertising or share them with third parties.
  • Facebook has to take steps to protect the security of user passwords.
  • Facebook has to notify and obtain consent from users when creating a template for facial recognition based on their faces.
  • Facebook has to appoint a "Chief Privacy Offer for Product" to oversee a newly-required privacy protection program. (The company announced Wednesday that that position would be filled by Michel Protti, who was previously vice president of product marketing on partnerships.)
  • Facebook has to publicly disclose when the data of 500 or more users has been exposed in a way that violates its terms.
  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be required to sign off on quarterly compliance reports.

Yes, but: Many policymakers said Wednesday that the agency hadn't been aggressive enough. They note that Facebook's core business of selling targeted ads remained effectively intact, and maintain that the deal gives Facebook a pass by immunizing it from future action related to "all consumer-protection claims known by the FTC prior to June 12, 2019."

The bigger picture: Facebook isn't done with the FTC yet.

  • The agency is now investigating the company for possible antitrust violations, Facebook revealed Wednesday afternoon that it learned last month.
  • Those concerns wouldn't be covered by the release from liability the company secured in the privacy settlement.

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people and caused mass power outages after making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane Wednesday.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, but it was still packing powerful winds and heavy rains, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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