Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Facebook Fined with $1.43 million for violating user’s privacy in Spain

facebook-privacy

Facebook is once again in trouble regarding its users’ privacy.

The social media giant has recently been heavily fined once again for a series of privacy violations in Spain.

Recently, Google also incurred a record-breaking fine of $2.7 billion (€2.42 billion) by the European antitrust officials for unfairly manipulating search results since at least 2008.

Now, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has issued a €1.2 Million (nearly $1.4 Million) fine against Facebook for breaching laws designed to protect its people’s information and confidentiality.

According to the data protection watchdog, the social network collects its users’ personal data without their ‘unequivocal consent’ and makes the profit by sharing the data with advertisers and marketers.

The AEPD also found Facebook collects sensitive data on user’s ideology, religious beliefs, sex and personal tastes and navigation—either directly from its own services or through third parties—without clearly informing its users how this information would be used.

This activity constituted a “very serious” infringement of the country’s local data protection law (LOPD), for which the authority fined the company €600,000 ($718,062).

The regulator also identified two “serious” violations of privacy laws, including:

  1. Tracking people through the use of “Like” button social plug-ins embedded in other non-Facebook web pages—for which it is fined €300,000 ($359,049).
  2. Failing to delete data collected from users once it has finished using it, in fact, the company “retains and reuses it later associated with the same user”—which resulted in another €300,000 ($359,049) fines.

The AEPD also said that Facebook’s existing privacy policy contains “generic and unclear terms,” and doesn’t “adequately collect the consent of either its users or nonusers, which constitutes a serious infringement.”

However, Facebook denied any wrongdoing and intended to appeal the decision of the Spanish data protection authority, providing the following statement.

“We take note of the DPA’s decision with which we respectfully disagree. Whilst we value the opportunities we’ve had to engage with the DPA to reinforce how seriously we take the privacy of people who use Facebook, we intend to appeal this decision.”

“As we made clear to the DPA, users choose which information they want to add to their profile and share with others, such as their religion. However, we do not use this information to target adverts to people.”

In May, the social media giant was fined €150,000 ($179,532) by for the way Facebook targeted advertising and tracked users.

 

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