Saturday, 8 December 2018

Italy fines Facebook for data related unfair commercial practices

Yesterday the Italian Competition Commission fined Facebook 10 million EUR for breaching the relevant provisions of the Italian Consumer Code implementing the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. The Competition Commission found that not-disclosing that consumers' data is provided for commercial purposes amounted to a misleading practice and that the pre-selected consent on data sharing comprised aggressive practices. Interestingly, in addition to the large fine, Facebook was also ordered to issue an apology to its users on its website and on its app (see for more here).

This is an important step in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal (see for more here, and our report here), and it will be hopefully followed in other Member States where due to the global nature of social media, it is very likely that similar breaches occurred. This then leads us back to an 'old' problem of national enforcement of EU wide infringements of consumer law, and the question of whether there is a need to overhaul and improve the existing enforcement regime of EU consumer law by empowering the EU Commission to take enforcement actions against EU-wide infringements (which we discussed here). What do you think?

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