Italy on Friday said it has fined social media network Facebook €10 million (Rs 81.2 crore) for allegedly selling users’ data without informing the country’s competition authority, and “aggressively discouraging” users from trying to limit how the firm sells their information, The Local reported.
The Italian Competition Authority, or ACGM, handed Facebook two fines totalling €10 million, claiming that the network “misleadingly gets people to sign up, without informing them in an immediate and adequate way of how the data they will provide will be harvested for commercial purposes”. It also alleged that Facebook uses unfair trade practices to transfer users’ data to third-party applications and websites.
Apart from this, Facebook does not clearly inform its subscribers about “the remunerative purpose that underlies the provision of the social network’s services”, instead claiming that the social media network can be used for free, ACGM said. It also tells users that by determining how the firm sells their data, they will risk “significant limitations” on usage. Facebook must now publish a “corrective statement” for all its users, the authority added.
On November 23, Facebook Italy agreed to pay €100 million (Rs 812 crore) to end a fiscal fraud dispute with the country’s authorities, AFP reported.
The social media network has repeatedly insisted that it does not sell users’ data. However, emails released by British MP Damian Collins on Wednesday suggested that Facebook gave some companies such as Netflix special access to users’ data despite cutting off such access to developers in 2014 and 2015. The documents, over 250 pages, include emails between Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and senior employees.
In response, Facebook claimed the documents were “misleading” in their current manner and needed more “context”.