WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the statement below following reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted on a settlement agreement regarding Facebook’s violation of the 2012 data privacy Consent Decree:

“While we have no official information from the FTC about the settlement, terms of the deal were leaked late on a Friday, possibly to avoid news coverage, which is unacceptable and likely benefited Facebook financially. In addition, I have the following concerns about the reported settlement: The fine doesn’t fit the offense. The data privacy of 87 million Facebook users - roughly the combined populations of California, Texas and New York - was violated. A onetime $5 billion fine for a company whose profits are in the tens of billions a year is not enough to deter Facebook and force them to put consumers’ privacy before profits. A good indication that the fine isn’t enough is the fact that Facebook’s stock increased following reports of the fine. This is another win for Facebook at the expense of consumers.”

“Reports also indicate that the vote among the Commissioners was split 3 - 2, which shows there was disagreement with the penalties and that settlement doesn’t address the fundamental problem: how Facebook collects and uses Americans’ data. The 2012 FTC Consent Decree was specific about how Facebook must protect the privacy of its users and inform them about violations. Given the magnitude of the Cambridge Analytica violation, the FTC not only needs to impose a more significant fine, they need to be clear about what Facebook must change when it comes to data practices. It appears that they haven’t done that, which is why Congress must take action.”

“We will be holding a hearing in the Antitrust Subcommittee on July 23 and FTC Chairman Simons will be testifying. I intend to press him on this issue. I will also continue to fight to pass my legislation to protect consumers’ privacy and bring transparency to online advertisements.”