Facebook has agreed to pay a $6.5 million (U.S.) fine after an investigation by the Canadian government found that the social media giant had made “misleading claims” about the privacy of its users’ information.
According to regulators from the Competition Bureau, Facebook made false representations about the “disclosure of personal information,” including how much users can control their own data on Facebook and Messenger. The agency also said that Facebook didn’t limit the sharing of user data with third-party apps as much as it claimed. For its part, Facebook says it doesn’t agree with the findings, but that it won’t contest them, either.
“Canadians expect and deserve the truth from businesses in the digital economy, and claims about privacy are no exception,” Matthew Boswell, the Commissioner of Competition, said in a statement. “The Competition Bureau will not hesitate to crack down on any business that makes false or misleading claims to Canadians about how they use personal data, whether they are multinational corporations like Facebook or smaller companies.”
While this isn’t a significant amount of money for Facebook to pay, these are still unusually harsh words for a government to lob the company’s way. Here’s hoping it leads to more oversight of Facebook in the U.S., too.
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