On Monday, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security issued $1.6 million fine on Facebook over the data leak. Brazilian government launched an investigation around the misuse of user’s personal data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal got busted in 2018, revealing how personal data belonging to nearly half a million users was used in political campaigns.
Brazil’s department of consumer protection said it had found that data from 443,000 Facebook users was improperly used by developers of an App called “thisisyourdigitallife”, a digital quiz application.
The ministry said that the data was being used for “questionable” purposes and added that the US tech giant should have provided users with adequate information regarding default privacy settings, particularly related to data of “friends” and “friends of friends.”
According to the statement issued by the ministry, both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica should have been “much more careful in the management of that data, since the consent model had relevant implications to the people whose data was exposed.”
The social media giant has not taken any immediate action but is exploring the legal options regarding the case. Facebook issued a statement via email, saying, “We are focused on protecting people’s privacy,” the company said, adding that it had made changes that restricted “the information which App developers can access.”
Facebook has 10 days to file an appeal against Brazil’s decision. As per the ministry’s order the fine should be paid to the government within 30 days. Besides Brazil, Facebook has been fined by US and UK government over the data leak issues. The US company had to pay a whooping $5 billion fine to the US justice department to settle the lawsuit, while £500,000 ($656,000) fine to the UK data protection watchdog. In both the cases, the company was penalised resulting from an investigation around the Cambridge Analytica case
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