Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had a difficult three years since the Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked the company to its core. Since then, it seems Facebook can’t do anything right, incurring recent fines from the FTC and the SEC totaling billions of dollars. One Senator says these lapses in judgment should be met with prison time for the CEO.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden gave an interview to Williamette Week where he stated he believes Zuckerberg should face some prison time for his recent blunders, which include lying to the American people over the company’s faulty security.
“Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly lied to the American people about privacy,” Wyden explained. “I think he ought to be held personally accountable, which is everything from financial fines to—and let me underline this—the possibility of a prison term. Because he hurt a lot of people.”
Wyden has been working on a bill called th Consumer Data Protection Act, which if passed, would hold senior executives accountable for losing personal data that includes stiff fines, and in more severe cases, jail time, Fox Business reported.
CNBC reported that Zuckerberg has been facing harsh criticism from his shareholders after the tumultuous years with many asking if he would step down as CEO.
In the same publication that Wyden gave his interview, Tim Gleason, a professor at the University of Oregon, stated: “The likelihood of criminal action is rather slim.”
The aforementioned $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission was handed down after the FTC began looking into how Facebook handles its user’s data. The fine was the largest the FTC as ever given and began after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the tech giant to pay the $100 million fine after they were discovered to have misled investors about how much trouble they were facing from the data loss months prior.
“For more than two years, Facebook’s public disclosures presented the risk of misuse of user data as merely hypothetical when Facebook knew that a third-party developer had actually misused Facebook user data,” the SEC stated in their report.
Facebook has slowly begun to lose large numbers of users, partly due to the data lose. It will be interesting to see how, or if, they can pivot out of this one.