The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) began non-compliance proceedings against Facebook for its alleged failure to comply with requests regarding consumer data.
The Italian watchdog announced Friday that it would be moving forward with penalizing Facebook after the company did not comply with a 2018 request that it provide more detailed information to consumers that their data is being collected and potentially used for commercial purposes.
Facebook could face a fine of up to 5 million euros, or $5.6 million, and the ICA will require it to publish an amendment on the homepage of every Italian user.
FB thus carried out an unfair commercial practice, inducing users to make a transactional decision they would have not otherwise made, the ICA said in a statement. However, although FB removed the ‘its free and always will be!’ tag line from the home page, consumers willing to register on the social network are still not adequately and immediately informed about the collection and use of their personal data for commercial purposes.
Facebook was widely criticized after it was reported in early 2018 that the British firm Cambridge Analytica had mined the data of around 50 million Facebook users without their permission to build profiles to pinpoint voters, part of the firm’s role as consultants for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: ‘Right matters. And the truth matters.’Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: ‘Statute of limitations’ for Biden apology is ‘up’ Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigationMORE’s 2016 campaign. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) later ruled that Cambridge Analytica engaged in “deceptive practices.”
Facebook settled with the FTC in July and was ordered to pay $5 billion for not adequately protecting user data.
The company was fined $645,000 by the British government in October of 2019 for related data security concerns involving Cambridge Analytica, and in December, Brazil fined it $1.6 million fro the same breach.