Facebook may be fined another $5.5 million, says Italy's watchdog

In 2018, Facebook was fined 5 million euros by Italy's watchdog and was asked to publish an amending statement on its homepage, which it didn't

Italy's competition authority tightened its noose on Facebook on Friday, announcing that it has launched legal proceedings against the social media giant for failing to comply with an earlier order related to improper commercial practices of collecting and using user data. The agency said that the non-compliance proceedings could result in further fine of $5.5 million or 5 million euros.

It seems there's no respite for Facebook, with the company continuously attracting the ire of regulators across the globe. Facebook isn't the only company that has been under pressure from antitrust bodies. A number of other tech giants too have been under the scanner of regulators for a while now.

Where did Facebook falter?

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On Friday, Italian antitrust watchdog AGCM said that Facebook failed to comply with a request to rectify improper practices in its methods of collecting and using personal data that were set in 2018. The social media giant, in 2018, was told by AGCM after finding out that it was not adequately informing its users in Italy about the collection and personal use of personal data.

AGCM at that time had fined Facebook $5.5 million and order the company to publish an amending statement on its website, Facebook app and personal page of each user in Italy. The agency on Friday said in a statement that, Facebook, didn't pay heed to its order. Instead, the company only removed a tagline saying that the services were free. Also, Facebook didn't publish the amending statement, which could now result in a fine of $5.5 million.

No respite for Facebook

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A 3D printed Whatsapp logo is seen in front of a displayed Facebook logo in this illustration taken April 28, 2016 REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Facebook is no stranger to antitrust probes, with the company increasingly drawing ire of the regulators both in the US and others parts of the globe. Regulators in Europe have been particularly stricter with Facebook and other big internet and tech companies. Facebook has been facing a number of antitrust probes across the globe.

The social media giant has been mired in controversy since early 2018, when it got embroiled in a data breach scandal involving Cambridge Analytica that affected the personal data of more than 80 million users. Since then the company has been trying hard to rebuild trust and its image among both users and regulators but hasn't succeeded much.

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