Facebook is once again in trouble regarding its users’ privacy.
The social media giant has recently been heavily fined once again for a series of privacy violations in Spain.
Recently, Google also incurred a record-breaking fine of $2.7 billion (€2.42 billion) by the European antitrust officials for unfairly manipulating search results since at least 2008.
Now, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has issued a €1.2 Million (nearly $1.4 Million) fine against Facebook for breaching laws designed to protect its people’s information and confidentiality.
According to the data protection watchdog, the social network collects its users’ personal data without their ‘unequivocal consent’ and makes the profit by sharing the data with advertisers and marketers.
The AEPD also found Facebook collects sensitive data on user’s ideology, religious beliefs, sex and personal tastes and navigation—either directly from its own services or through third parties—without clearly informing its users how this information would be used.
This activity constituted a “very serious” infringement of the country’s local data protection law (LOPD), for which the authority fined the company €600,000 ($718,062).
The regulator also identified two “serious” violations of privacy laws, including:
Tracking people through the use of “Like” button social plug-ins embedded in other non-Facebook web pages—for which it is fined €300,000 ($359,049).
Failing to delete data collected from users once it has finished using it, in fact, the company “retains and reuses it later associated with the same user”—which resulted in another €300,000 ($359,049) fines.
“Users choose which information they want to add to their profile and share with others,” said Sally Aldous, a company spokeswoman. “We do not use this information to target adverts to people.”
While the Spanish agency has become one of the few privacy watchdogs worldwide to issue financial penalties against the social networking giant, the fine represents a mere rounding error to the company’s tens of billions of dollars of revenue generated each year.
In May, the French data protection authority also finds Facebook €150,000 — its maximum fine — for violations similar to what was discovered by its Spanish counterpart. The social network denies any wrongdoing.
Facebook has become a lightning rod for controversy over how it collects and uses people’s online information, as well as its role in disseminating potential fake news and hate speech to users around the globe