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Brazil gov’t investigates Facebook over privacy violations

The company may be fined $2.4 million

Published in 17/10/2019 - 17:08

By Jonas Valente Brasília

The National Consumer’s Secretariat (Senacom), an agency linked to Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security, has opened a new inquiry against Facebook over supposed privacy violations against privacy and the protection of data of users and other individuals. Facebook has ten days to reply to the notification. If the breaches are proved, the company may have to pay a fine of $2.4 million.

Senacom probes into abuse in the treatment of sensitive data, like health information, like users’ heart rates and menstrual cycles, the contents of private messages and e-mails, and geographic location. People who are not users of the platform are also believed to be targeted.

These data may have been obtained through smartphone applications. Facebook operates as a platform for a number of apps, which provide services in exchange for data. FaceApp, for instance, was among the applications that sparked similar controversies.

Third case

The inquiry initiated by the Ministry of Justice is the third against Facebook in Brazil over practices linked to user data. In August, Senacom demanded clarifications regarding illicit access to the content of messages exchanged via FB Messenger.

In March, the government watchdog opened two cases against the company—one over the illegal sharing of data through login and another over hackers said to have breached into Brazilian users’ accounts for data like name, e-mail address, places visited, and search history.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Lílian Beraldo / Augusto Queiroz

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