F.T.C. Approves Facebook Fine of About $5 Billion

The size of the penalty against Facebook underscored the rising frustration among Washington officials with how Silicon Valley giants collect, store and use people’s information.

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a fine of roughly $5 billion against Facebook for mishandling users’ personal information, according to three people briefed on the vote, in what would be a landmark settlement that signals a newly aggressive stance by regulators toward the country’s most powerful technology companies.

The much-anticipated settlement still needs final approval in the coming weeks from the Justice Department, which rarely rejects settlements reached by the agency.

It would be the biggest fine by far levied by the federal government against a technology company, easily eclipsing the $22 million imposed on Google in 2012.

The size of the penalty underscored the rising frustration among Washington officials with how Silicon Valley giants collect, store and use people’s information.

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