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Facebook fined $1.6 million by Brazil government for sharing user data

This isn't the first case of data leaks or breaches that the company has faced this year

  • Published: December 31, 2019 11:50 AM IST
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Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security has imposed a fine of about USD 1.6 million on Facebook. The fine is for the sharing of data belonging to 443,000 Brazilian users in relation to the Cambridge Analytica case.


According to the Brazil government there was evidence of an “abusive” practice in Facebook’s methods. Hence, the accusations were made on the data being used by Facebook Inc and Facebook Serviços Online do Brasil Ltda, the Efe news reported

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“It is clear that data from the approximately 443,000 users of the platform were in misuse by the developers of thisisyourdigitallife application for at least questionable purposes,” concluded the Department of Consumer Protection (DPDC), which depends on the Ministry, as cited in a statement released on Monday.

What Facebook had to say on the matter

The media reported in April 2018 that Brazilian Facebook users may have fallen victim to data malpractices. This misuse of their data was allegedly by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. This prompted the investigation of the case. Further, Facebook said the data was used to create and develop a computer program which could predict the voters’ decisions and exert influence. Moreover, the company allegedly collaborated with the team of US President Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign.

At that time, the DPDC was attentive to the testimony that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave before the US Congress. His testimony justified the opening of actions against the company. This also started a deeper investigation into the alleged leak that affected Brazilian users.

The data of nearly 87 million people was exposed. Further, some 4,43,000 of these users were located in Brazil. These users have already been notified about what happened, said Facebook. However, this wasn’t the first time Facebook was put under the cross hair for misuse of collected data. The company has been facing a lot of these issues in recent years. This includes a handful of data leaking cases from just this year.

With inputs from IANS

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  • Published Date: December 31, 2019 11:50 AM IST