Facebook Fined In Spain Over Privacy Law Breach

Spain has slapped $1.4 million fine on Facebook after the data watchdog in the European country found that the social media giant was guilty of breaking privacy laws. According to the data watchdog, the social media giant broke the laws which were enacted to protect the privacy and information of citizens on three occasions.

One of the ways in which the social media giant broke the laws was by failing to inform its users how the information it was collecting would be put to use. Per the regulator Facebook failed to let users know that their personal information which included browsing habits, personal interests, religious beliefs, sex and ideology would be used in serving them ads.

User tracking

Additionally, the regulator accused Facebook of illegally tracking visitors who viewed its pages using cookies despite the fact that they had not registered as members of the service. Facebook was also found to have infringed on the rights of citizens by storing the details of their deleted accounts for a period of over 17 months.

In one instance Facebook was found to have seriously breached the laws and for this it received a fine of more than half a million euros. Facebook’s privacy policy was also found to be difficult to navigate. The privacy policy of the social media giant was also found guilty of using unclear and generic terms.

“Facebook’s privacy policy contains generic and unclear terms. The agency considers that Facebook does not adequately collect the consent of either its users or nonusers, which constitutes a serious infringement,” said the data watchdog in a statement.

Per the data watchdog the average user of the social media platform is ignorant of how Facebook users, stores and collects their data.

European oversight

Besides the Spanish data watchdog other regulators in Europe are also conducting investigations into Facebook. The social media firm has also faced challenges in countries such as France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In France Facebook was fined 150,000 euros earlier in the year.

Last year Facebook appealed and won in a ruling which had fined the firm 250,000 euros over data protection issues. And in May this year Facebook was fined 110 million euros by the European Union after it was found to have breached data protection laws as well as for misleading regulators when it was acquiring WhatsApp. At the time Facebook had indicated that the messaging app would not be linked to the social media giant’s main app.

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