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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today officially confirmed that Facebook has agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine over privacy violations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Besides the multibillion-dollar penalty, the company has also accepted a 20-year-long agreement that enforces it to implement a new organisational framework designed to strengthen its data privacy practices and policies.

The agreement requires Facebook to make some major structural changes, as explained below, that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy and information it collects on them.

“The order requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy from the corporate board-level down, and establishes strong new mechanisms to ensure that Facebook executives are accountable for the decisions they make about privacy and that those decisions are subject to meaningful oversight,” the FTC said in a press release.

According to the FTC, Facebook has repeatedly used deceptive disclosures and settings to undermine its users’ privacy preferences in violation of its 2012 FTC order that required the social media to gain explicit consent from users to share their personal data.

The newly proposed organisational framework will also cover not just Facebook’s massive social media network, but also the company-owned services, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

“We’ve agreed to pay a historic fine, but even more important, we’re going to make some major structural changes to how we build products and run this company,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

“As part of this settlement, we’re bringing our privacy controls more in line with our financial controls under the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. Our executives, including me, will have to certify that all of the work we oversee meets our privacy commitments.”

“The reason I support them is that I believe they will reduce the number of mistakes we make and help us deliver stronger privacy protections for everyone.”

images from Hacker News