Facebook found guilty from probe, fined 1.2 million euros

In the debate of privacy, a lot of online applications seems to be creating a storm to what privacy actually means. There are debates as to who is entitled to privacy and why. While Facebook is embroiled with a lot of privacy issues, the latest one comes from Spain claiming that that the social media site has allegedly collected personal information from users in Spain and then use for advertising.

At least three such cases in which Facebook had collected personal details such as the gender, religious beliefs, personal tastes and browsing history of its millions of Spanish users without informing them how such information would be used.

The site has been slapped a fine for 1.2 million Euros. The fine stemmed from an investigation into the social network company conducted alongside similar probes in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The 1.2 million euro fine is a fraction of Facebook’s quarterly revenue of about $8 billion and stock market capitalization of around $435 billion.

Facebook did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

The tech giant did not sufficiently inform users about how it would use data collected on third-party websites, and did not obtain consent to use it.

“Facebook’s privacy policy contains generic and unclear terms, the social network uses specifically protected data for advertising, among other purposes, without obtaining users’ express consent as data protection law demands, a serious infringement.”

Using cookies, Facebook also collects data from people who do not have an account on the social network but navigate other pages containing a “like” button, AEPD said.

Facebook users’ activity can also be tracked on third-party sites, and the information collected added to what is already associated with a Facebook account. It said it also found evidence the network kept information for more than 17 months after users closed their accounts.


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