Facebook apologizes for Facebook outage in certain parts of the world

Facebook has again come under fire for violating user’s privacy and collecting data without their permission. European countries France and Netherlands accused the world’s largest social networking company for not complying with the countries’ privacy guidelines and using user data inappropriately.

France’s privacy watchdog group issued a statement today that Facebook did not inform users on how they collect user personal data through third party websites and shared with advertisers. The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) also accused Facebook for not informing users how they user their data and how it is collected. Both authorities said Facebook has collected user data without their permission and shared with third-party advertisers, which is against the country’s data protection rule.

French Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has imposed a whopping fine of around 150,000 eruos ($166,400) on Facebook while Netherlands did not fine, but said “may decide to issue a sanction” if it continues to violate. However, neither of the country did order Facebook to review its practices.

There have been investigation going on against Facebook in regard with user data handling and European countries have strict data protection laws. CNIL ordered Facebook to review its privacy policy, stop tracking the activities of non-users, collecting user data, and not to share user data to the US after the trans-Atlantic Safe Harbor pact was called off. And, a new data sharing agreement was signed in July 2016 between the Europe and the US, the EU-US Privacy Shield.

Facebook made a strong argument that its privacy policies were in comply with the European data protection law. However, it is not clear whether the company would appeal against CNIL’s decision. “We take note of the CNIL’s decision with which we respectfully disagree,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “At Facebook, putting people in control of their privacy is at the heart of everything we do. Over recent years, we’ve simplified our policies further to help people understand how we use information to make Facebook better.”