The Federal Trade Commission is expected to announce on Wednesday that Facebook has agreed to a sweeping settlement of allegations it mishandled user privacy and pay roughly $5bn, two people briefed on the matter said.

As part of the settlement, Facebook will agree to create a board committee on privacy and will agree to new executive certifications on user privacy, the people said.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the FTC will alleged Facebook misled users about its handling of their phone numbers and its use of two-factor authentication as part of a wide-ranging complaint that accompanies a settlement ending the government’s privacy probe, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Two people briefed on the matter confirmed the Post report that the FTC will not require Facebook to admit guilt as part of the settlement. The settlement will need to be approved by a federal judge.

The FTC confirmed in March 2018 it had opened an investigation into allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The inquiry has focused on whether the data-sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator and then widened to include other privacy allegations.

A person briefed on the matter said neither the phone number nor two-factor authentication issues were part of the initial Cambridge Analytica investigation.


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