Italian regulator fines Facebook €10m for misleading users

Facebook has been fined €10m by Italian authorities for misleading users over its data practices such as:

– Misleading users in the sign-up process about the extent to which the data they provide would be used for commercial purposes.

– Emphasising only the free nature of the service, without informing users of the “profitable ends that underlie the provision of the social network”, and so encouraging them to make a decision of a commercial nature that they would not have taken if they were in full possession of the facts.

– Forcing an “aggressive practice” on registered users by transmitting their data from Facebook to third parties, and vice versa, for commercial purposes. Facebook was specifically criticised for the default setting of the Facebook Platform services, which “prepares the transmission of user data to individual websites/apps without express consent”.

Although users can disable the platform, the regulator found that its opt-out nature did not provide a fully free choice. As an additional penalty, the authority has directed Facebook to publish an apology to users on its website and on its app.


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