Facebook, Feds, Fines and a Consent Decree: AS HEARD ON – WTAG NewsRadio 580 [04-10-18]

On This Episode…

Want to know what’s really going on with Facebook?  The Feds, The Fines, and A Seven-Year-old Consent Decree – Jim and Craig discuss it all.

Jim and Craig also discuss why Craig is doing a Free Briefing Webinar this week entitled The 7 Greatest Cyber Security Threats to Small Businesses this Thursday at 4 PM.  You can register at https://craigpeterson.com/briefing.


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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

Airing date: 04/10/2018

The Backstory Behind The Facebook Zuckerberg Appearance


Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] If you want to know what is going on behind the scenes with the Facebook hearings. We’ve got it for you this morning with Jim Polito. Also a quick reminder. Bottom line. Thursday this week we have a big briefing, a free briefing talking about the seven deadliest cyber security threats to small business. So we’ll be going through those a couple of what to do things. I think it’ll be fun too. We’re going to do this a little differently than we usually do. But you can sign up by going to https://craigpeterson.com/webinar. And if you listen to this podcast after Thursday we’re going to be doing a whole series of these and you can sign up. Again, https://craigpeterson.com/webinar. Here we go with Jim talking about what’s really happening over there with Facebook and the feds and the fines. And how does this tie into a consent decree? Remember that from almost seven years ago?


Jim Polito: [00:01:01] Who’s the best guy to have on your show the day that Mark Zuckerberg goes up in front of Congress? The guy we have every Tuesday at this time our Tech Talk guru, Craig Peterson. Good morning sir.


Craig: [00:01:15] Hey good morning Jim. I’m looking forward to 60s. Is that what you said?


Jim: [00:01:20] Yeah. For you. That’s like you may have to take salt tablets and quinine and some vitamin C so you don’t get scurvy for a Canadian. That’s like the Sahara.


Craig: [00:01:37] Yeah. I’m SPF Norwegian. So you know. And Canada. So this is a super day coming up. This is great.


Jim: [00:01:46] Listen you better get your lutefisk and sit down and enjoy yourself. You know enjoy it while you can. My God. I hope you don’t get heatstroke Craig. Hey I know we’ve got a lot of stuff that you sent me. And at the end of this segment folks, we are going to give you a great number that you can text my name to. Standard data and text rates apply. But you’ll get great information from Craig Peterson and there is no obligation and he won’t pester you. But I just want to, before we get to the new cold war that’s being fought over data, I want to ask you about Zuckerberg going up in front of Congress yesterday. Man he was making the tour on the Capitol yesterday and he looked to me like a man who’s trying to save his company and doing, saying anything and really giving the mea culpa in order to do it. Would you agree?


Craig: [00:02:44] Oh Jim. He is in so much trouble. I was just reading this morning. I went to their website and this morning they promoted this. It came out in April 4. They’re promoting it now. They have an update on their plans to restrict data access on Facebook and we can talk about that in a minute. But here’s part of the reason he’s in so much trouble. In November of 2011, Jim, Facebook/Zuckerberg sought an  agreement with the Federal Trade Commission where they came to consent decree here about the privacy protections they had in place because Facebook agreed and signed the deal that said yes indeed we did deceive users about the privacy protections that are in. OK? That was November 2011. Remember that?


Jim: [00:03:46] Yup.


Craig: [00:03:51] So there is a consent decree. It’s mandated that Facebook has to notify users to obtain permission before any data about them is shared beyond the privacy settings that they’ve established. So Facebook have to honor that consent decree for 20 years. In fact for 20 years, Facebook had the House Privacy Check up to ensure its compliance with the privacy consent decree. So now some of the guys and gals that have been working for the Federal Trade Commission but are no longer there got out their calculators. Now when I got my first calculator inside that was one of the first ones ever made.


Jim: [00:04:33] Was it a Bowmar or Texas Instruments.


Craig: [00:04:39] I actually had Sanyo as the first one I ever had. In Japan it was really cool. It had eight digits on it. Ok? It had eight digits. Exactly. You know back in the day that was like the federal, the entire federal deficit.


Jim: [00:04:59] Right. Right. You could do it on that. Not anymore.


Craig: [00:05:02] No. And in fact these former FTC people here are saying that there is not enough money on Earth cash-wise, now if you are thrown out of the virtual currencies then ok maybe. Worth-wise. There is not enough money on Earth for the Facebook company to pay the fine.


Jim: [00:05:25] Really?


Craig: [00:05:27] There is not enough money on Earth. OK? So at this point the FTC is busy trying to figure out, they started an investigation into this in fact a little bit more than what, about a month ago I think it was. If they find that Facebook violated this 2011 consent decree on affecting more than 100 million Americans. And we’re talking about fines that could amount to 20, 2011, I hope I’m not gonna mess here. But as I recall it was about twenty thousand dollars per record.


Jim: [00:06:12] Oh my God. Per record. How many members are there on Facebook?


Craig: [00:06:18] Well there’s a billion. In fact billions.


Jim: [00:06:21] Oh my god.


Craig: [00:06:28] So the FTC guys are saying listen, the fine on this would be the largest in history. Now these former officials are agreeing that this fine potential here is so large it could imperil the future of Facebook. No question about that. But the FTC has been trying to assert itself for years. Obviously they came out with this consent decree. We’ll see what ends up happening here. But this investigation is well underway. And if they find that this consent decree remember, all they have to find is that the consent decree was not followed. With Facebook on to 7 year and a half years ago. If they find that frankly Facebook could be completely out of business.


Jim: [00:07:19] Now I can’t imagine that happening. However I can’t imagine now that Democrats and Republicans who rarely agree on much agree that Facebook. Well the Democrats are mad at Facebook because the data may have helped Trump. Republicans have always been mad at Facebook because they felt that their news feeds favored liberals over conservatives. And we’ve got Facebook going after what are their names the two women, African-American women.


Craig: [00:07:54] Diamond and Silk.


Jim: [00:07:57] Yes. Diamond and Silk. So they’re saying hey. You called our material, our podcast a threat to the community. I mean these are two harmless women who happen to love Trump who are very funny. So that’s why conservatives hate them. So you get Zuckerberg the whiz kid going up in front of Congress. I really, I watched him yesterday said this is a guy fighting for his life. And you’re right the way you framed it. It looks like I was right.


Craig: [00:08:33] Well David Vladeck, he’s the former FTC director of consumer protection. He oversaw the consent decree. He’s saying that there is going to be a fine and it’s going to be around a billion dollars.


Jim: [00:08:47] That hurts even when you’re Mark Zuckerberg and when you’re Facebook. That hurts. Or we should use that money to build the wall between the U.S. and Mexico too. That would be great because Mark Zuckerberg has supported illegal immigration for a long time. Trump should take that billion dollars and say yeah I’m giving it to the wall. I’m giving it to the wall. Craig, with all that we’re running out of time. Craig’s got a great bit of information about the next Cold War is here and it’s all about data but you need to text in my name to this number to get it.


Craig: [00:09:19] It’s 855-385-5553. Just text the word Jim to 855-385-5553. And I’ve got something special. On Thursday we’re going to have a briefing for listeners absolutely free. So I’ll send a text out to a link to that today as well.


Jim: [00:09:39] That would be great. See Craig doesn’t annoy you with stuff and he sends you only what’s important. Craig. Excellent analysis. Thank you. Always a pleasure to have you on board. And we’ll talk with you next week.


Craig: [00:09:48] Take care Jim. Bye-bye.


Jim: [00:09:50] Bye-bye. Alright. Don’t forget standard data and text rates apply but you don’t have to worry about him selling your name to somebody else. A very important final word.


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