Facebook fined $11.4M in Italy over data misuse – CNET

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Facebook just got hit with another fine.

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Italy’s Competition Authority on Friday slapped Facebook with two fines that total 10 million euros ($11.4M) for using people’s data for commercial purposes in ways that break the country’s laws.

Italy issued the first fine after deciding that the social network persuaded people to register for accounts on the platform without informing them during the signup process that their data would be collected and used for commercial purposes. 

The second fine relates to passing user data onto third parties. Facebook “exerts undue influence on registered consumers” to share data “without express and prior consent” from its own platform to third-party websites and apps, the Competition Authority said in a press release. It says that Facebook is now obliged to publish a “corrective statement” to all users via its desktop site and apps.

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Facebook has endured a rough ride this year in terms of data scandals, starting with the Cambridge Analytica revelations in March. The company updated many of privacy settings around that time, in part as a response to the scandal and in part to comply with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May. In November, the company was referred to Ireland’s data privacy watchdog for potentially violating GDPR due to the way it handles data.

The only penalty the company received for data protection violations relating to Cambridge Analytica came in October from the UK’s watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, in the form of a $645,000 fine.

The fine issued on Friday appears to be unrelated to both GDPR and Cambridge Analytica, but rather comes as a result of a separate investigation Italy opened in April of this year.

Facebook did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Facebook’s latest scandals: They show the company lacks an “ethical road map,” critics say

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