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Mark Zuckerberg on stage at Facebook's F8 Developers Conference 2015. Photo by Maurizio Pesce.

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Italy Slaps Facebook with €1M Data Fine

Italy has issued a one million euro fine to Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica case.

The case involves the British political data firm having collected private information from tens of millions of users. The information was collected without consent and used for “personalized political advertising,” according to Italy’s National Associated Press Agency (ANSA).

The personality quiz collected data on not only the participating users, but their Facebook friends.

“It is suspected that the use of the data [by Cambridge Analytica] may have influenced the 2016 Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election won by Donald Trump the same year,” ANSA reports without any evidence for the ongoing conspiracy claim.

The fine itself has to do with an app called ‘This is Your Digital Life’, a personality quiz created in 2014.

‘This is Your Digital Life’ collected data, both public and private, on both the participating users and their Facebook friends and beyond.

Cambridge Analytica collected data from just 57 Italians who downloaded the app from Facebook. The app itself collected data from “a further 214,077 Italian users who had not downloaded [the app] and had not given their consent or been informed”.

But information from the additional 214,077 was not shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Photo by Pixabay, via Pexels

Facebook originally allowed the mass collection of user data. Yet the tech giant claims the app’s creator, Alexsander Kogan, violated the Terms of Service when he shared the information with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook originally allowed the collection of its user’s data.

The political data firm claims to have information on only 30 million users. Facebook estimated 87 million of the social network’s users around the world had their data collected by ‘This is Your Digital Life’.

This is not the first time Italy has fined Facebook.

The tech giant received a ten million euro fine from Italy in December 2018.

The fine was for selling users’ data without the users’ consent, and “‘aggressively’ discouraging users from trying to limit how the company shares their data.”

Sofia Carbone is a junior editor at Human Events

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