Spanish Data Watchdog Fines Facebook 1.2 Million Euros

Facebook has recently been fined for 1.2 million Euros, which converts to about $1.4 million. The fine is from an investigation into the social network that alleged that they were collecting personal information from their user base in Spain, and that information could then be used for advertising. Of course, this is basically Facebook’s whole business model, but this investigation showed that they did it without informing the users of how the data would be used.

The AEPD statement said, “Facebook’s privacy policy contains generic and unclear terms.” And went on to say, “The social network uses specifically protected data for advertising, among other purposes, without obtaining users’ express consent as data protection law demands, a serious infringement.”

The fine of 1.2 million Euros is fairly insignificant compared to the billions that the social network brings in each year from advertising. It will make Facebook rework their privacy policy to ensure it is more clear to the users though.

Facebook has not commented on this situation, and isn’t likely to given the size of the lawsuit. While Facebook might not be overly concerned about a penalty this size, it is a good reminder to all marketers and anyone who owns a website of any sort, that privacy violations are a serious issue that can’t be ignored.

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