Italian regulator fines Facebook €7m over data practices

Italy’s competition authority has slapped Facebook with another fine, this time for €7m over failing to implement new measures around user data.

The regulator AGCM levied the fine against Facebook Ireland and Facebook Inc., the main parent company, for not communicating to users how data collected is used. AGCM had told Facebook to implement changes in 2018.

It said that Facebook did not “immediately and adequately” inform users when signing up what data they would be giving up and what the commercial purposes of collecting that data was. It said there was no clear distinction between necessary data gathered to operate the site and data gathered for personalising the service for each user.

The €7m fine is the latest from the Italian authority against Facebook. In 2018 it issued its initial €5m fine over this matter and ordered the company to make it clearer to existing users how and why data is collected.

“They still do not provide immediate and clear information on the collection and use of user data for commercial purposes,” AGCM said.

Facebook said it has made the relevant changes to the issues that the watchdog flagged and updated its terms of service to reflect that. It said it will appeal the Italian authority’s decision.

The fine amounts of €5m and €7m are small fry for Facebook and its annual revenues of $85bn but it’s part of an ever-growing trend in regulatory scrutiny whether its in data protection or competition.

In the US, it is staring down two antitrust lawsuits, which are putting the company’s acquisition strategy and how it responds to competitors under the microscope. In Europe, the EU’s Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act were presented last year, which will place tighter controls on tech giants.

In Australia the company is in a spat with the government over a new legal code that would force the social media platform to remunerate news publishers for content it uses.

The post Italian regulator fines Facebook €7m over data practices appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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