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    In this April 4, 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook is having one of its worst weeks as a publicly traded company with a share sell-off continuing for a second day. Britain's Commissioner Elizabeth Denham told the BBC that she was investigating Facebook and has asked the company not to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica's data use. Denham is also pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's servers. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

    FTC Hits Facebook With $5 Billion Settlement Over Leaked User Data - Reports

    © AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
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    Facebook has been the subject of serious criticism over its sharing of user data with third parties. Over the course of this year, Facebook has reduced the amount of apps which can access Facebook user data.

    Following more than a year of talks, Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have reportedly reached a record-breaking settlement of some $5 billion over privacy violations on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    The punishment follows months of negotiations between the two and is the largest penalty ever levelled by the department in its history.

    Facebook had previously said in April that it had set aside $3 million in preparation for a fine from the commission.

    The final settlement is supposedly directly related to a scandal involving London-Based Cambridge Analytica as well as a series of leaks of app users private records onto a public database, which is prohibited by Facebook's own policies.

    In 2011, Facebook assured the FTC that it would not share data with third parties without consent. The revelation of this settlement may indicate that Facebook breached that agreement.

    Other internet giants have received huge fines in past, such as the 22.5 million hit on Google for its privacy policies in 2012. None, however, have been on this scale.

    The fine still remains comparatively small, however, as Facebook revealed in its Q1 earnings that they had generated $15 billion in revenue in the last quarter alone.

    According to the Journal, three Republican commissioners cast their vote for the fine and two Democratic commissioners voted against it, making the FTC ruling likely a partisan decision.

    This comes as US President Trump held a “social media” conference on Thursday where he accused companies such as Twitter of having a “terrible bias” against conservative online personalities.

    Trump invited various internet stars to the conference to state their grievances against social media companies.

    Conservative figures were present at the conference, including Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk, Trump-supporting duo Diamond and Silk, commentator Ben Shapiro, Josh Hawley, a Republican Senator who has demanded tighter regulations on tech companies to avoid censorship, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe and others.

    There has been a growing rift between the current Republican Trump Administration and social media sites, who the administration has accused of censoring conservative voices.

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    Zuckerberg, Trump, Facebook, Federal Trade Commission
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