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Facebook fined for breaking privacy laws

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Massive time-wasting enterprise Facebook has been fined 1.2 million Euros (yep, I don’t know how to get my keyboard to type the Euro symbol) for breaking privacy laws.

The social media firm fell afoul of the Spanish authorities after it somehow forgot to tell millions of users how their data would be used, as you do.

Spain’s data watchdog said that not only had Facebook failed to tell people how details like their browsing habits and sex would be used to proposition them with advertising, it also kept the data of deleted accounts for well over a year after deletion.

In its telling off, the watchdog said Facebook’s privacy policy contains ‘generic and unclear terms’ and that it doesn’t ‘adequately collect the consent of either its users or nonusers, which constitutes a serious infringement’.

Ouch. Having said that, Facebook probably has 1.2 million Euros down the back of its digital sofa, so I don’t suppose it’s too concerned about the fine.

But, then again, perhaps it should be slightly concerned, as data watchdogs in many European countries are currently running their own investigations into how the company handles user data, so maybe there’s a glut of pesky fines to come.

In May, the EU fined Facebook for breaking data laws and not being exactly clear with regulators when it bought WhatsApp. The penalty that time was 110 million Euros – which is still small beer to the firm that reported revenues of £7 billion earlier this year. How on Earth can you make so much money just from posting ads like ‘Buy This Dress’, ‘Do You Like This Car?’ and ‘Why Not Try This Sandwich’ at people? It baffles me.


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