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EU fines Facebook $122mn over ‘misleading’ WhatsApp takeover information


rt.com
18-05-2017 08:21 (local time)

Facebook has been fined $122 million by an EU commission for providing “misleading” information to Brussels about its takeover of WhatsApp, once again rousing debate about the social media giant’s ongoing data privacy issues

Facebook claimed the 'misleading' information was not intentional [image text, ed.]

Facebook was found to have knowingly disclosed false information about the possibility of merging Facebook and WhatsApp user identities, during the merger process of the two social platforms in 2014 at a cost $19 billion.

“Today's decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a statement.

Vestager described the fine as a “proportionate and deterrent” warning that merger decision must be made “in full knowledge of accurate facts.”

The commission did not reverse its decision to approve the takeover.

According to the commission, Facebook informed it that the company would be unable to reliably match Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts, something that proved to be false when, in August 2016, WhatsApp updated its terms of service and privacy policy.

Included in the update was the possibility of linking WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook user’s identities.

Google & Facebook control one-fifth of global ad revenue - data & analysis agency report https://on.rt.com/8ahu [RT, Twitter, ed.]

Facebook responded to the fine in a statement to the New York Times, claiming the errors were not intentional.

“The commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review.”

Facebook has been fined $122 million by an EU commission for providing “misleading” information to Brussels about its takeover of WhatsApp, once again rousing debate about the social media giant’s ongoing data privacy issues.

France slaps Facebook with $166k fine over user privacy violations https://on.rt.com/8btl [RT, Twitter, ed.]

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