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Facebook would hire privacy-minded execs under FTC settlement, report says

Mark Zuckerberg would have direct responsibility for privacy issues, according to Politico.

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A reported possible FTC settlement would saddle Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with privacy responsibilities.

James Martin/CNET

Facebook and the US Federal Trade Commission are reportedly working on a settlement that would add privacy oversight at the social network's highest levels.

The settlement, which hasn't been finalized, would require Facebook to undertake a more thorough privacy review of new products and services before they launch, The Washington Post reported Friday. This might include documenting decisions and efforts to avoid possible privacy problems, noted the Post, citing an unnamed source.

The settlement might also add a federally approved privacy official and an "independent" oversight committee that could include Facebook board members, according to a Politico report Wednesday, which cited an anonymous source close to the talks. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also would be named "designated compliance officer" for privacy issues.

The FTC would basically maintain veto power over the federally approved privacy exec, and the committee would issue reports on Facebook's privacy practices, Politico said.

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These changes would reportedly come alongside an unannounced FTC fine that could reach $3 billion to $5 billion.

After last year's Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the FTC started probing whether Facebook violated a legal agreement to keep user data private. Cambridge Analytica, a UK consultancy, harvested personal data from up to 87 million Facebook accounts without user permission.

Both Facebook and the FTC declined to comment.

Originally published May 2, 4:09 a.m. PT.
Update, 5:10 a.m.: Adds more detail, notes that FTC declined to comment. Update, May 3: Add more details on possible settlement.