This week, Canada’s competition watchdog the Competition Bureau has fined Facebook $6.5 million for making privacy claims believed to be “false”. The Bureau is an independent law enforcement government agency which ensures fair and innovative competition between businesses in Canada.
Matthew Boswell, the commissioner of the Competition Bureau gave his opinion on the fine, coming after the organisation accused Facebook of sharing its users’ personal data with third parties.
Canadians expect and deserve the truth from businesses in the digital economy, and claims about privacy are no exception.
The sharing took place between August 2012 and June 2018.
The Competition Bureau, which acts in a watchdog-like capacity, determined that Facebook Incorporated “made false or misleading claims about the privacy of Canadians’ personal information on Facebook” as well as its sister app, Messenger.
Whilst Facebook disagreed with the verdict, it stated it was trying to resolve the matter, saying:
Although we do not agree with the Commissioner’s conclusions, we are resolving this matter by entering into a consent agreement and not contesting the conclusions for the purposes of this agreement.
The Bureau brought Facebook to court in February this year, and has now accepted the request to not make any false representations “about the disclosure of personal information as part of the settlement”. Meaning, they must be truthful about their data storage and privacy policies.
This is not the first fine Facebook has experienced. It has been fined by multiple nations following the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which Facebook shared the personal data of approximately 87 million users worldwide with the organisation.
Kazient Privacy Experts offer bespoke Data Protection, Privacy and GDPR compliance solutions in a language you understand to UK and international organisations, and has received positive media coverage across Europe. Kazient’s GDPR consultants are fully certified to be your outsourced Data Protection Officer or EU Representative. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business by visiting our website www.kazient.co.uk or calling us on 0330 022 9009.