The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has imposed a penalty of 10 million euros ($11.4 million) for illegally harvesting the data of its users for commercial purposes.
The Authority said, “Facebook has been practising aggressive policies towards registered users, who suffer from the transfer of their personal data by Facebook to third parties without their direct and prior consent, thus without notification and automatically”.
Facebook was facing allegations of misleading people by not informing them when they sign up that their personal data will be used by it for commercial purposes. The Authority also observed that Facebook does not reveal it to its users that their personal data will be used by it for its own benefits and instead stresses on Facebook being free. However, Facebook has been denying the allegations of selling user data to any third parties.
The Authority has also asked Facebook to run an apology on its website and app. A Facebook spokesperson told the company is considering the decision of the Authority and the matter will be resolved soon. The company had made some changes in its policy providing more rights to the users.
Facebook has been facing criticism internationally over the charges of data breach. The company was accused of selling the data of about 50 million users to Cambridge Analytica without their permission. Last week the British Parliamentary Committee had stated in its report that Facebook had given the right to access the documents of its user to some selected companies. Some of the companies named were Airbank, Lift and Netflix.