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Italy Fines Facebook $11Mln for Illegally Collecting User Data

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) said on Friday that it has fined US high-tech giant Facebook 10 million euros ($11.4 million) for illegally harvesting its users' data for commercial purposes.

"The authority has found that Facebook, in violation of articles 21 and 22 of the Code of Consumer Rights, fraudulently encouraged consumers to register on its platform, without informing them immediately and properly during the activation of their accounts of its data collection activities for commercial purposes," AGCM said in a statement, announcing a hefty fine for Facebook.

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According to the competition authority, Facebook has been practising "aggressive" policies toward 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."

Over recent months, Facebook has been in the international focus due to a number of data breach scandals. In March, the social media company faced sharp criticism after it emerged that personal data of about 50 million users had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica without their permission via a special app. The information was allegedly used to help target political advertising.

READ MORE: REVEALED: Docs Show Facebook Favoured Certain Companies, Banned Competitors

Earlier in the week, the UK parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee released documents suggesting that Facebook executives, including founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, linked access to user data to the financial value of a developer’s relations with Facebook.

The US high-tech giant denied claims it had ever sold users’ personal data to third parties.

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