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Facebook is facing major legal trouble. A court found them guilty of illegally tracking its user’s behavior online, without their consent.
The company was fined $22 million following a lawsuit by a South Korean watchdog group. Facebook is also under investigation for at least six other similar privacy violations by the Irish Data Protection Commission.
Instagram, owned by Meta, was just recently fined more than $400 million for violating children’s privacy under the European Union’s data protection law.
In 2019, Zuckerberg agreed to pay $5 billion to settle the fine to the Federal Trade Commission. Zuckerberg illegally violated user privacy by selling their personal data to third parties without their consent.
The Western Journal reported:
In a statement Wednesday, South Korea’s Personal Information and Protection Commission said it fined Google $50 million and Facebook $22 million.
The combined $72 million fine was the largest penalty ever levied in South Korea for privacy violations, according to the PIPC.
Both Google and Facebook collected private data from users for many years, the Korea Times reported Wednesday.
“Google has had Korean users give their consent without knowledge to such data collection by a default setting since at least 2016 while Meta, the operator of Facebook, has not informed or got consent from users since 2018, according to the watchdog,” the report said.
As a result, over 82 percent of Google users and over 98 percent of Meta users in Korea have their user behavior data on platforms outside of Google and Meta exposed to their illegal data collection, the PIPC said.”
The commission has ordered both Meta and Google to provide a clear process for users to give consent over whether their personal information can be shared or not.
Meta and US hospitals are also being sued for violating medical privacy laws with a tracking tool that sends health information to Facebook.
The lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of California in June and July and they focus on the Meta Pixel tracking tool.
The tool can be installed on websites to give analytics to Facebook and Instagram ads. ITT collects information about how people click around and input info into those websites.
The Verge reported:
An investigation by The Markup in early June found that 33 of the top 100 hospitals in the United States use the Meta Pixel on their websites. At seven hospitals, it was installed on password-protected patient portals. The investigation found that the tool was sending information about patient health conditions, doctor appointments, and medication allergies to Facebook.
In one of the lawsuits, a patient says that her medical information was sent to Facebook by the Meta Pixel tool on the University of California San Francisco and Dignity Health patient portals (those hospitals are also defendants in the suit). The patient then was served advertisements targeted to her heart and knee conditions, the lawsuit says.
The other lawsuit is from a patient at the MedStar Health System in Baltimore, Maryland. They allege that at least 664 healthcare providers have sent medical data to Facebook through the Meta Pixel.