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Facebook fined €150,000 by French data watchdog

CNIL fine is part of wider EU investigation into social media giant’s practices

Facebook has been fined by French privacy watchdog CNIL. The €150,000 fine is small in the context of the company which has quarterly revenue of about $8bn

Facebook has been fined €150,000 by France’s CNIL data watchdog for failure to prevent its users’ data from being accessed by advertisers.

The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés said its fine – which was imposed on both Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland – was part of a wider European probe also being carried out in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany into some of Facebook’s practices.

The €150,000 fine is small in the context of the company which has quarterly revenue of about $8 billion and a stock market capitalisation which stands at around $435 billion.

Last Friday, Italy’s antitrust watchdog said it was imposing a €3 million fine on the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp for allegedly obliging users to agree to sharing their personal data with the parent company


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

The Italian agency said the application led users to believe they would not have been able to continue using the service unless they agreed to terms including sharing personal data.

A spokesperson for WhatsApp said last week: “We’re reviewing the decision and we look forward to responding to officials.”

The fine is lower than the maximum €5 million the Italian agency could have levied.

It said it had also found other aspects of WhatsApp’s terms of use were unfair, including allowing for unexplained interruptions to service and only the provider having the right to terminate the agreement. – (Reuters)

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