After months of negotiations, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook a record-setting $5 billion on Friday for privacy violations, according to multiple reports.
The penalty comes after an investigation that lasted over a year, and marks the largest in the agency’s history by an order of magnitude.
If approved by the Justice Department's civil division, it will also be the first substantive punishment for Facebook in the US, where the tech industry has gone largely unregulated.
Full details of the settlement were unavailable Friday afternoon, and the FTC and Facebook both declined to comment.
In the meantime, important questions remain unanswered, including whether the FTC has opted to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally liable for the company’s privacy violations, and what sort of external oversight Facebook must submit to going forward.
The FTC opened its investigation into Facebook’s data practices last March, one week after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that worked with the Trump campaign in 2016, had improperly obtained information on tens of millions of Facebook users.