Facebook pays $9-million penalty over federal probe of privacy claims

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OTTAWA — Facebook will pay a $9-million penalty after the federal Competition Bureau found the company made false or misleading claims about the privacy of Canadians’ personal information.

The social media firm will pay an additional $500,000 to cover the costs of the bureau’s investigation.

In a settlement registered today, the company has agreed not to make misleading representations about the extent to which users can control access to their personal data on Facebook and the Messenger app.

Following an investigation that took into account Facebook’s practices between August 2012 and June 2018, the bureau concluded the company gave the impression users could control who could see and access their personal information using privacy features and settings.

The bureau says Facebook did not limit the sharing of users’ personal information with some third-party developers in a manner consistent with the claims.

In a statement, Facebook says although it does not agree with the conclusions, it is resolving the matter by entering into a consent agreement.