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Facebook Fined by E.U. 110 miln Euros ($122 miln) Over WhatsApp

     
3:20 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The E.U. has fined Facebook 110 million euros, $122 million, for misleading information regarding the acquisition of WhatsApp back in 2014.
Calling it a "proportionate and deterrent fine", the European Commission, which acts as the EU's competition watchdog, said Facebook had said it could not automatically match user accounts on its namesake platform and WhatsApp but two years later launched a service that did exactly that. Facebook Fined by E.U. 110 miln Euros ($122 miln) Over WhatsApp [reuters.com]


This follows on rapidly from yesterday's fine of Facebook by France's data protection authority, CNIL, [webmasterworld.com] of 150,000 euros, $166,000, over failing to prevent users' data access by advertisers.

Although, in the scale of things, the amount of the fine is small, the key really is the principal. A financially proportionate fine isn't possible for the authorities to go higher.
5:09 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's beyond ridiculous what the big companies are allowed to do on mobile. It's all wide open, free-for-all they grab everything.

I don't use my phone for anything other than calls and maps. Last month I downloaded a several apps as we are testing something, the ad network in apps actually REMEMBERS MY DESKTOP SEARCHES. So they track IPs, who owns a phone, match hardware etc.

Which is none of their business.

The worst right now is the alphabet agencies behind Facebook --> Instagram --> WhatsApp spying network. You can't even publish onto Instagram other than via your phone with Facebook-Instagram app and enabled push notifications, which is essentially a SPYWARE turned on, letting them track you everywhere.

Absolutely disgusting.

They need to be fined not some millions that will go into the .gov pockets , they need to be fined thousands of dollars PER USER. With hard clause - stop spying, if you don't here's $1000 per user fine. How many fake users do they claim? And half of the fine to go into "free the internet" fund to develop open source software and open source search engines.
12:46 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I suspect that there's a lot more deception. I noticed today that my last Android update installed an Instagram app, even though I don't have an Instragram account. But I'd bet pennies to dollars that their quarterly report shows how many people have the app... which would now include me.

And since they make their money on the stock market now, their perceived value is more important than any real value.
10:35 pm on May 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Did Facebook at any time notify Whatsapp users of this prior to roll out, and if so, give them an opportunity to opt-out? If so, then in my opinion the fine is over reaching. If they didn't.... then possibly it's not... but I don't have enough facts at this point.
7:51 am on May 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You follow the money. In this case you follow what one company buys (as in other companies) and ---- there you are.

Issuing disclaimers "we won't co-mingle" mollifies only the brain dead or terminally asleep-at-the-wheel.

Logic begs the question: If you aren't going to co-mingle data then why the heck do you want to buy it?

FB gets a pass in American press, so it's a good thing the EU is on the job.
2:43 pm on May 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There are literally millions of hits for "facebook privacy concerns" in the American press on Google. Criticism of them from both the right and left. Pass from the American press? No.
 

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