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Facebook fined 10 million euros in Italy for unfair use of subscribers' data

Staff Writer |
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) has fined Facebook with two penalties worth 10 million euros (11.3 million U.S. dollars) overall for improper use of its subscribers' personal data.

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After an investigation was launched in April, and closed on Nov. 29, the ICA concluded that Facebook used subscribers' data in a way that breached the country's Consumer Code.

The first fine was imposed because Facebook "deceptively persuades users to register on the platform" without informing them properly and immediately in the signup phase that their data would be collected for commercial purposes.

The Authority explained the information provided by the company in that phase were "generic and incomplete" since they did not adequately distinguish between the use of data needed to personalize the service, and that made to carry out targeted advertising campaigns.

The second financial penalty was due to the fact the social media giant passed users' data to third parties.

According to the ICA, the network uses "an aggressive practice, since it exerts an undue influence on registered consumers, who suffer without explicit and prior consensus... the transmission of their data for commercial purposes from Facebook to third-party apps and websites."

In addition to the fines, Facebook would now be required to publish a corrective statement on its website and app to inform consumers, the Italian antitrust specified.

The investigation had been open after a class action lawsuit against the company for alleged improper use of personal data was filed by three Italian consumer advocacy groups.

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