Facebook Inc (FB) Probed By Dutch Privacy Watchdog


Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will be probed by a government-affiliated watchdog group. This was announced on Tuesday amid growing concerns of the website’s commercial use of personal information.

Facebook Inc (FB) Probed By Dutch Privacy Watchdog

The Hague-based Data Protection Agency (DPA) previously warned Google Inc it was breaching data protection laws when using personal data for advertising purposes. Google could face a fine of up to 15 million euros if it does not fix the breaches in the next couple of months.

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Google’s clash with DPA

It was reported that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) breached Dutch laws by matching personalized details with personalized ads without informing users or asking for permission. Jacob Khonstam, DPA chairman, said, “Google traps users in an invisible net with our personal details without asking our permission. Google has until the end of February 2015 to implement the necessary measures to end the infringements.”

The DPA made the following statement regarding its current stance on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB): “The DPA has decided to investigate Facebook’s newly-announced privacy policy. The DPA wants to know what the consequences will be for Facebook users in the Netherlands.”

Facebook’s recent privacy policy change

In November, the social giant announced changes in its privacy policy which will affect users worldwide. Such changes included the right to use personal details and photos from individual user Facebook profiles. The watchdog group sent a letter to the website requesting it hold off until next year until the probe results are revealed.

It was added by the DPA that Facebook’s presence in the Netherlands and utilization of Dutch citizens’ details gives it the authority to act as supervisor. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reportedly was surprised by the inquiry and denied any plans to use pictures for commercial purposes, although the social media site said it could use profile pictures alongside ads which were “liked” by users.

The Netherlands isn’t the only country to probe Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in connection with privacy matters. France, Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy previously conducted their own probes

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