France slaps Facebook with maximum fine over privacy

Facebook told to pay €150,000 for following users around the web to serve them ads

France has slapped Facebook with its maximum fine for invading users' privacy, a 150,000 charge that's small change versus its $8 billion in revenue last quarter.

French data watchdog, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Liberts (CNIL), was investigating the changes Facebook made to its privacy policy back in 2015 to ensure they met local data protection laws, alongside regulators in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. France then demanded Facebook stop tracking users without consent and cease moving personal data to the US. 

The CNIL found Facebook was compiling a "massive" tranche of personal data on users "in order to display targeted advertising". That includes on third-party websites via a cookie, often without user knowledge. After a hearing the CNIL, said it didn't believe users clearly understood the extent to which Facebook was stalking them across the web, add ing that the company doesn't clearly communicate their data rights. The watchdog warned Facebook to stop collecting so much data and to stop sharing some of it with the US, but fined the company when it failed to meet those demands. 

Facebook argues the French-led group of data watchdogs aren't the right body to be investigating the social network, instead favouring the Irish regulator as its European operations are based in that country. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"We take note of the CNIL's decision with which we respectfully disagree," the company said in a statement to the Guardian. "At Facebook, putting people in control of their privacy is at the heart of everything we do. Over recent years, we've simplified our policies further to help people understand how we use information to make Facebook better."

The 150,000 fine is a small slice of Facebook's profits, but it's lucky not to be paying more. The CNIL increased its maximum fine to 3 million last year. 

Featured Resources

The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration

Everything you need to know for a successful transition

Download now

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Software-defined storage for dummies

Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challenges

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/backup/33385/arcserve-udp-9240dr-review-beef-up-your-backups
backup

Arcserve UDP 9240DR review: Beef up your backups

4 Apr 2019

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/354273/pablo-escobars-brother-launches-budget-foldable-phone
Mobile Phones

Pablo Escobar's brother launches budget foldable phone

4 Dec 2019
Visit/network-internet/wifi-hotspots/354283/industrial-wi-fi-6-trial-reveals-blistering-speeds
wifi & hotspots

Industrial Wi-Fi 6 trial reveals blistering speeds

5 Dec 2019
Visit/hardware/354237/five-signs-that-its-time-to-retire-it-kit
Sponsored

Five signs that it’s time to retire IT kit

29 Nov 2019