France fines Facebook over 'targeted advertising'

Facebook Fined by French Privacy Watchdog Over Data

Facebook fined €150000 by French data watchdog

Therefore, Facebook - which enjoyed revenues of $28 billion in 2016 - escaped a possible fine of more than $1 billion for now.

The fine was assessed by French watchdog group CNIL, and works out to about $166,000 (€128,651 GBR or AU$223583). As of October past year CNIL can now issue fines of up to €3m.

"We take note of the CNIL's decision with which we respectfully disagree", it said in a statement. That "datr" cookie reports back to Facebook whenever that browser accesses a webpage with an active social plug-in, such as a "like" button.

The regulator looked at how Facebook uses personal data for advertising purposes, including sensitive details such as users' religion or politics, race, sexual activity, union membership or criminal record.

Not only that, but new data protection laws will come into effect in Europe in 2018 and they include the ability to fine a company up to four per cent of its global turnover if it breaches user privacy - something that could result in a billion-dollar fine if Facebook continues with its current approach. The company's Dutch office advises Dutch businesses and ad agencies on advertising over Facebook and is focused on the Dutch market. The company uses the information from that cookie only to weed out browsers being piloted by a machine rather than a human, and discards the browsing data after 10 days, Facebook has said. Officials there are also considering new laws that would require social media platforms to remove hate speech and fake news from their platforms within 24 hours.

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All 28 European Union data protection authorities asked WhatsApp a year ago to stop sharing users' data with Facebook due to doubts over the validity of users' consent.

Likewise, the Netherlands found that Facebook violated Dutch data protection law for the 9.6 million social network users in the country, over the insufficient information given to users on how Facebook uses their data.

Spain, Belgium and the German city of Hamburg are also scrutinising the company, which now faces two Spanish probes and lawsuits in Germany and Belgium.

The CNIL can now issue fines of up to Euro 3 million, after the passing of a new law in October 2016.

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