Canada’s competition watchdog announced on Tuesday that Facebook has agreed to pay a CAD 9 million fine for making false or misleading claims about its privacy settings.

An investigation of the social media network’s practices from 2012 to 2018 discovered that the company gave Canadians the impression that users could control who saw their personal information on Facebook and Messenger.

The Competition Bureau said in a statement that “but it allowed their data to be shared with third-party developers.”

The competition commissioner Matthew Boswell said that “Canadians expect and deserve the truth from businesses in the digital economy, and claims about privacy are no exception.”

He also said that Facebook had vowed publicly to stop the practice in 2015 but continued to allow third-party access to its users messages and posts until 2018.

As part of the settlement, Facebook has accepted not to make misleading or false representations about the disclosure of personal information, and pay the Competition Bureau’s CAD 500,000 investigation costs.

Canada’s privacy commissioner took Facebook to court in February for violating privacy laws. The company has called it overreach and has asked a judge to quash the case.


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