Facebook faces noncompliance proceedings from Italian watchdog over data practices

Facebook faces noncompliance proceedings from Italian watchdog over data practices
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The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) began noncompliance proceedings against Facebook for its alleged failure to comply with requests regarding consumer data. 

The Italian watchdog announced Friday that it would be moving forward with penalizing Facebook after the company did not comply with a 2018 request that it provide more detailed information to consumers that their data is being collected and potentially used for commercial purposes. 

Facebook could face a fine of up to 5 million euros, or $5.6 million, and the ICA will require it to publish an amendment on the homepage of every Italian user.

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“FB thus carried out an unfair commercial practice, inducing users to make a transactional decision they would have not otherwise made,” the ICA said in a statement. “However, although FB removed the 'it’s free and always will be!' tag line from the home page, consumers willing to register on the social network are still not adequately and immediately informed about the collection and use of their personal data for commercial purposes.”

Facebook was widely criticized after it was reported in early 2018 that the British firm Cambridge Analytica had mined the data of around 50 million Facebook users without their permission to build profiles to pinpoint voters, part of the firm's role as consultants for President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE's 2016 campaign. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) later ruled that Cambridge Analytica engaged in "deceptive practices." 

Facebook settled with the FTC in July and was ordered to pay $5 billion for not adequately protecting user data.

The company was fined $645,000 by the British government in October for related data security concerns involving Cambridge Analytica, and in December Brazil fined it $1.6 million for the same breach.