Facebook broke Canadian privacy law, according to regulators

Privacy regulators in Canada have determined that Facebook violated local privacy laws by mishandling user data. On Thursday, regulators announced that they would take the company to court to force it to change the way it protects consumer privacy.

"Facebook's refusal to act responsibly is deeply disturbing given the large amount of confidential personal information that users have entrusted to this company," says Daniel Therrien, Canadian privacy commissioner. "Their privacy framework was empty, and their vague terms were so elastic that they were not significant for the protection of privacy."

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada opened its investigation into Facebook's privacy practices following the Cambridge Analytica scandal last spring. Around 300,000 Facebook users worldwide downloaded the application "This is Your Digital Life", which transferred data to the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. According to the press release,

according to the report, Facebook did not obtain a significant consent from users to share their data. with the application of third parties, did not perform an "adequate" supervision of the applications with access to the platform, and was involved in an "irresponsible" behavior with the consumer's data. When the authorities requested it to undergo audits, Facebook refused, even though it already complied with the US data controls. UU

For the reasons detailed in the report, the regulators intend to take their findings to the Canadian federal court to seek an order requiring Facebook. to change their privacy practices to account for their findings.

"The strong contradiction between Facebook's public promises to amend its privacy forms and its refusal to address the serious problems we have identified, or even acknowledge that it violated the law, is extremely worrisome," said Therrien.

The report also makes suggestions to update current privacy, such as allowing regulators to implement fines or conduct audits to ensure that companies like Facebook comply with the law.

"It is untenable that organizations can reject my office's legal findings as mere opinions." Therrien said.

On Wednesday, Facebook unveiled its earnings and included a guide for investors, suggesting they expect to be fined with the US Federal Trade Commission. UU Between $ 3 and $ 5 billion after the agency's investigation into Cambridge Analytica and the subsequent privacy scandals. . The European Union imposed fines against Facebook last year also for privacy, but they were much smaller (hundreds of thousands) than anticipated by the FTC.

Canadian regulators do not have the authority to pay fines as officials in the United States and the EU do.

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