US regulators under scrutiny as they look to punish Facebook

Federal privacy regulators are under scrutiny in Congress as they negotiate a record fine with Facebook to punish the company for alleged user-privacy violations.

Eyes are on the Federal Trade Commission as it also considers a rare action holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally accountable for Facebook’s failure to honor a 2011 agreement over privacy lapses. The agency also may limit how the giant social network targets advertising to its massive user base.

Beyond a fine, which is expected to run as much as $5 billion, comprehensive action by the FTC could mark a watershed in government action against the tech industry to protect consumer privacy.

FTC Chairman Joseph Simons and his four fellow commission members will appear before a House committee at a hearing Wednesday.