Italy’s Antitrust Watchdog Fines Facebook Over Users’ Data

The Italian Antitrust authority announced on Wednesday, February 17, that it has fined Facebook €7 million for failing to follow its instructions to terminate the improper use of users’ data.

It also stated the social network had failed to comply with an order issued in November 2018 to publish a rectification statement regarding this issue on the homepage of the company’s website in Italy, on its app and on the personal page of each user registered in Italy.

It fined the US company €5 million (US$5.5 million) and asked it to publish an amended statement on the homepage of its website for Italy, on the Facebook app, and on the personal page of each registered Italian user.

“The current investigation has proved that …(the company has) not published the amended statement and has not stopped the established unfair practice,” the regulator said in its statement.

Given the economic value of the data for Facebook, it stated users should be put in a position to decide whether it should be used.

A Facebook spokesman said the company had taken notice of the regulator’s announcement but would “await the Council of State decision on our appeal against the Authority’s initial findings.”

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