The Canadian regulator has accused Facebook of “serious contraventions” of the country’s privacy laws.
According to the federal privacy commissioner, the social network has also been neglecting its duties as a protector of personal private information, following a probe into Facebook’s conduct in relation to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Canada’s privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, stated:
“The stark contradiction between Facebook’s public promises to mend its ways on privacy and its refusal to address the serious problems we’ve identified – or even acknowledge that it broke the law – is extremely concerning.”
Mr Therrien also said that the federal privacy commissioner now intends to open a lawsuit in an attempt to make Facebook conform to the office’s privacy standards. The commissioner’s powers are limited to making recommendations currently and has no ability to impose financial sanctions for non-compliance.
In response, Facebook said that it had committed to “many months of good-faith cooperation and lengthy negotiations” with the commissioner’s office, before expressing its disappointment that the issue was being taken to the courts instead of a collaborative route being chosen.
Launched in March 2018, the investigation launched by Canada’s federal privacy commissioner discovered that Mark Zuckerberg’s firm had not obtained valid and meaningful consent from users and their Facebook friends. These findings were made public in a report released last week.
Proper safeguards to protect user data had not been in place and Facebook had not been properly accountable for the information within its control, the report states.
The report recommended that Facebook initiate an audit of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years, focussing on the need to obtain “meaningful consent” from users who chose to install third-party apps.
Facebook has said that it has already made efforts to bolster the platform to increase safeguards for account holders, including measures to limit third-party app access.
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