French data watchdog fines Facebook 150,000 euros for “unfair tracking” of users

PARIS — The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL), France’s data protecting watchdog, said Tuesday it was fining social media site Facebook 150,000-euro (166,159 U.S. dollars) for “several breaches of the French Data Protecting Act.”

The French regulatory body accused Facebook Inc. and Facebook Ireland of tracking web users’ activity without their consent and without having a legal basis for doing so, in order to display targeted advertising.

As part of a wider European investigation also carried out in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany into some of Facebook’s practices, CNIL “revealed several failures.”

“As a result, the restricted committee has decided to pronounce a public sanction of 150,000 euros against Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland,” the watchdog said in a statement.

“Considering the number of infringements (six in total), the seriousness, and the significant number of users in France (33 million), the amount and publicity of this sanction are justified,” it added.

In 2016, CNIL had given the social network a three-month deadline to respect the French Data Protection Act by stopping a massive compilation of personal data of Internet users for targeted advertising and personal data transfers to the United States. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S. dollars) (Xinhua)