This year, the apologies could make way for accountability, and the talk of regulation will (potentially) turn to action.
But what does that mean exactly? How severe might any punishments be? Here’s what might happen to Facebook over the next 1 year.
It might get an enormous fine
The Irish Data Protection Commission declared in December that, thanks to ‘a number of breach notifications from Facebook’, it had launched an inquiry. The implications of this are doubtless monumental, and regulators are treading on new ground, backed by fierce regulation designed to come down hard on firms deemed not to have kept personal data secure.
It might be broken up
One view that seems to have bipartisan support – in different countries around the world – is that Facebook is now too massive and too powerful.
‘We have loads of competitors,’ said Mark Zuckerberg during his appearance in front of the Senate in April – though he failed to actually name any. With WhatsApp and Instagram additionally on its books, there is no real alternative to Facebook – and if there was, the company would probably just buy it.
Nick Clegg might save the day
Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is due to start as Facebook’s head of communications any day currently, following the news of his appointment in October last year.
It may be regulated (bringing the rest of tech with it)
“I don’t desire own to vote to control Facebook,” said US Senator John Kennedy, to Mark Zuckerberg, in April. “But by God, I will. That depends on you… Your user agreement sucks.”
People might just stop using it as much
Facebook remains growing, however not within the places wherever these scandals have hit exhausting. In the US, when looking at Daily Active Users, Facebook has not grown at all over the past three quarters, and in Europe the number has actually fallen.
In a poll of just under 1000 Facebook users conducted by analysis firm Creative Strategies in April 2018 – after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but before some other high-profile data breaches – 31 percent said they would be using Facebook less in future.