Facebook faces a record multi-billion dollar fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for privacy violations, according to reports.
The penalty would surpass the $22.5m (£17.5m) fine the FTC issued to Google for failing to protect user data as the largest ever financial punishment imposed by the US government's privacy and security watchdog.
The FTC has been investigating Facebook to determine whether or not it violated the terms of its privacy order with the FTC in 2011, according to the Washington Post.
The privacy order allegedly requires Facebook to receive express permission from consumers before sharing data with third parties especially if sharing it meant changing existing privacy settings.
A civil penalty would be the latest development in the 11-month long investigation into Facebook spurred by its relationship with Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook made headlines last March when news emerged that it had allowed the political consultant agency to access the data of 87m users without their permission.
If the FTC finds Facebook in violation of the 2011 order, the social media company could face a $41,000 (£31,965) fine for each violation of the order that the FTC finds, the Post reported.
Fines for the violations could extend beyond the Cambridge Analytica scheme, as the company has recently come under fire for a number of different consumer data and privacy complaints.
“We are cooperating with officials in the US, UK, and beyond. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
The privacy concerns reportedly come amid plans at Facebook to share data across Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook messenger, which has worried advocacy groups and US representatives alike.
The fine would not be the first that Facebook has received in past years for its involvement with Cambridge Analytica.
In October, UK data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) levied a £500,000 maximum penalty at Facebook for its role in abusing user data.
Facebook is currently challenging the penalty in court, arguing that the ICO could not prove that UK users were impacted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.