According to Italy's antitrust regulator, the US social media giant fails to properly inform users about how it collects and uses their data for commercial purposes.

The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019.
The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. (Reuters)

Italy's antitrust regulator has announced a new fine of $8.45 million (7.0 million euros) against Facebook for misleading conduct on data protection.

According to the authority, known as AGCM, the US social media giant fails to properly inform users about how it collects and uses their data for commercial purposes.

AGCM had already fined Facebook 5.0 million euros in 2018, charging it with unfair trading practices, and ordered it to take corrective action.

"The current investigation has proved that ... (the company has) not published the amended statement and has not stopped the established unfair practice," the regulator said in its statement.

Given the economic value of the data for Facebook, it said users should be put in a position to decide whether it should be used.

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Wednesday's second fine came because the US company ignored orders to alter its practices as requested, the Italian regulator said.

Even if Facebook no longer advertises itself as free, "immediate and clear information on the collection and use of user data for commercial purposes is still not provided," AGCM said.

"This is information that the consumer needs to decide whether to join the service, in light of the economic value for Facebook of the data provided by the user, which represents payment for the use of the service."

A Facebook spokesperson said the company had taken notice of the regulator's announcement but would "await the Council of State decision on our appeal against the Authority’s initial findings".

The spokesman added that Facebook had already made changes, including to its term of service to clarify how data to provide its services and tailored advertising are used.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies