What's the cost for facebook's massive data privacy breach that's rocked the company in the past year? Facebook thinks it could be as much as $5 billion dollars. It shared that estimate in its earnings report on Wednesday, saying that it's set aside billiions of dollars to cover possible penalties coming from the Federal Trade Commision in what could be the agency's biggest fine ever against a tech company.
The FTC has been investigating Facebook after it came to light that the social media giant inappropriately shared information of 87 million users with the now-defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Despite being plagued with that and criticism over misinformation on its platform, Facebook posted a 26 percent jump in revenue thanks to strong growth in its photo sharing app Instagram, beating Wall Street estimates.
But protecting privacy and cleaning up Facebook is taking a toll. Headcount at the social media company jumped 36 percent over the year to over 37,000 as it hires more people to police the site and costs jumped over 80 percent as well.
Still investors were pleased and the stock jumped 10 percent in after hours trading. The shares are up nearly 40 percent so far this year.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg also took the earnings report as an opportunity to emphasize again that Facebook is focused on building a platform that takes privacy seriously - a strategy he laid out in detail last month in a blog post titled "A privacy-focused vision for social networking"