back to article French fling fun-sized fine at Facebook for freakin' following folk

Facebook has been fined the maximum possible amount – €150,000 ($166,000) – by France's data protection watchdog for gathering information on internet users without their permission. The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) cited the social media giant for six violations, including collecting …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the french??

    hahahahha... the bloody corrupt french...

    i don't go near facebook nor do I have any dealings with the bloody french but between two villians it becomes a comedy of sorts. lolololol

    1. Vector

      Re: the french??

      Ha yourself.

      Perhaps you missed this little tidbit in the article:

      "...Facebook should stop tracking the web activity of non-users of the service without getting their consent"

      So I wouldn't be quite so smug about not being a Farcebook user.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the french??

        how are they going to track me?? running red hat linux with mac address changed with every boot and cookies are purged upon browser exits. not that it matters. unlike the french, i have nothing to hide. that is why i am posting anonymously. :P hahahaha

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the french??

          ha ha haa, ever tried this or similar?

          https://panopticlick.eff.org/results?&dnt=111

        2. sloe_ride

          Re: the french??

          MAC address does not go beyond the router so FB wouldn't see it anyway.

          Are you going through a VPN proxy to help conceal your IP? You didn’t mention that.

          Cookies are not the only way to ID you - your browser leaves a "fingerprint" based on numerous variables: display resolution, browser patch level, OS, plugins of which there are many possible combinations. A specific combination of which can help to point back to you.

          Take off the black hoody, ditch the Guy Fawkes mask and take the green text off your terminal screen. It’s some more reading you need, son.

        3. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

          Re: the french??

          do you know anyone whos a FB user? who receives email or electronic media from you? who takes photos or attends events where you're present?

          Are you on anyone's contact list who uses FB?

          Good chance there's an "account" in YOUR name already "set up" on FB.

          THAT is one of the glaring problems with FB.

          Which really irks me about people who then get their political direction from FB systems, and media outlets that promote based on FB popularity. Which could easily be completely artificial, non transparently manufactured popularity and direction bolstered by large numbers of pseudo-fake accounts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the french??

        "...Facebook should stop tracking the web activity of non-users of the service without getting their consent"

        That does raise the question about how they are supposed to track people if they don't visit facebook. Where do the tracking cookies come from?

        1. Vector
          Big Brother

          Re: the french??

          "Where do the tracking cookies come from?"

          Sites that have partnered with Facebook. You visit their site, they apply a Facebook cookie to please their dark overlord and you get tracked.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: the french??

            Same problem as all those sites using Google Analytics, putting the 'anal' back in to web site use without your permission.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the french??

          > That does raise the question about how they are supposed to track people if they don't visit facebook. Where do the tracking cookies come from?

          From those ubiquitous "share" buttons. Countermeasures are available:

          http://panzi.github.io/SocialSharePrivacy/

    2. Chairo
      Joke

      Re: the french??

      And now remain gone illegitimate faced buggerfolk! And, if you think you got nasty taunting this time, you ain't heard nothing yet! Daffy English kniggets! Thpppt!

  2. Scott Broukell

    So mistaken

    No, no, no .... we was only sweeping up the teeny-tiny trails of user data left behind as they surfed the webs your honor. The merest crumbs of data left in the wake of a personal journey across the webs, yer honor. Nothing to be bothered about. I mean you don't want all those untidy itzy-bitzy bits of data left lying around do you, making the internet looking all untidy and that. It's good house keeping it is, that's what it is your honor.

  3. Rich 2

    No flies on the EU there

    "The fine comes as a result of that analysis. In 2014"

    So it's taken them 3 years to analyse a privacy statement? Wow!!

  4. Commswonk

    Does not compute, Captain

    It is prepared to hit them where it hurts – in the pocket – to force them to comply with data protection laws.

    And a fine of €150,000 ($166,000) will achieve that how, exactly?

    1. Vector
      Happy

      Re: Does not compute, Captain

      You just have to do it over...and over...and over...and over...

      It's all about volume!!!

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Does not compute, Captain

        You just have to do it over...and over...and over...and over...

        It's all about volume!!!

        Per person could end up an interesting amount, you may needs the reg standards calculator.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Does not compute, Captain

      And a fine of €150,000 ($166,000) will achieve that how, exactly?

      Exactly is the question. That amount of money is pocket change to a company like FB. It would be lumped in with the cost of doing business such as toilet paper. One of these days, perhaps some government with balls to stand up to the money coming in as "donations" and "campaign contributions" will push for a law based on percentage of income to push the companies hard. And that's only if they ever get to the point of writing out a check....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does not compute, Captain

        > Exactly is the question.

        And the answer is in the article itself. Past character no. 160, mind.

    3. Remy Redert

      Re: Does not compute, Captain

      Our respective representatives wondered that as well. Which is why the new regs due next year increase the maximum possible fine to 4% of global turnover. Because companies have repeatedly shown that fines which do not threaten to bankrupt them are not sufficient to make them pay attention.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does not compute, Captain

      "And a fine of €150,000 ($166,000) will achieve that how, exactly?"

      You're right, it's a problem that this was the maximum amount allowed by law, a law that was initially aimed at relatively small offences by relatively small French companies. Not global megacorps engaged in global megaslurps of privacy.

      It's pointed in the article that the maximum amount has been raised to 3 millions since then, and will be raised again to 4% turnover next year. That will hurt more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        4% turnover

        4% turnover is never going to happen. They'd just tell them to fromage themselves and lock them in a very expensive legal case, that FB can afford.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 4% turnover

          And something the EU can afford even more....knowin a several billion settlement will cover any costs.

    5. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Does not compute, Captain

      That's why GDPR increased it to a much larger maximum. Unlike Facebook, they can't change the rules on a whim.

  5. Dave Harvey

    Seems fair compared to banking etc.

    The US government makes an absolute fortune in foreign exchange/taxes by imposing gratuitously large fines on European banks, irrespective of where in the world they supposedly broke US law and whether or not they were actually subject to it, so whatever the actual rights and wrongs of these cases, there's some karma in seeing Europe looking to extract similar amounts from American companies.

    1. Bronek Kozicki

      Re: Seems fair compared to banking etc.

      irony icon is badly missed these days

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Seems fair compared to banking etc.

        If we operate in other countries we have to pay attention to the law. Facebook might say they are an internet company but if they are marketing directly to french subscribers and buying advertising in France to market to them, then are they not operating in that country?

  6. Mage Silver badge

    Outsource

    Can we outsource all the useless Irish Regulators to France/Germany/EU?

    Finance- Anglo Irish, Irish Nationwide. They knew.

    BCI - Sky

    Comreg - Three, Eir

    Data Commisioner - Google, Facebook, MS, Etc

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsource

      Why do you think they chose Ireland in the first place?

      A government that butters up int's ring, bends over and asks the the tech companies if they would like them to bark like a dog.

  7. jonsnow1975

    Getting rid of Facebook was tricky as it's quite addictive, 12 months later when I think how many countless hours would have been wasted watching other peoples fake lives, it's clear I'll never, ever... go back

    Do yourself a favor and disable that spying, lying, life sapper... trust me, you'll be better for it.

    1. Triggerfish

      I'd love to because of the spying, but where I live now it's probably used for communication more than voice calls or text. There's a fair few countries that tend to do this as well, because people leach WiFi and use that, or whatsapp or viber or zalo. Rather than use money on call/ text fees.

      Weirdly dumping facebook out here, would hamper your social life, plus the ability to get other things done through the groups.

      Also to be honest from the UK if you have friends & family abroad, call costs to places like Australia, or Thailand from the UK tend to be a bit pricey to phone someone up for a quick half hour chat and catch up. Facebook tends to be a quick and easy way.

      1. Commswonk

        Also to be honest from the UK if you have friends & family abroad, call costs to places like Australia, or Thailand from the UK tend to be a bit pricey to phone someone up for a quick half hour chat and catch up.

        Cheap phone packages are available; Mrs Commswonk has one to talk to her daughter abroad.

        Facebook tends to be a quick and easy way; "Facebook tends to be a lazy way" might be more accurate. Apart from anything else if I want to communicate with specific friends I do not world + dog listening from the sidelines; if all the friends are mutual there might be some excuse for using Facebook but individual friends deserve individual attention.

        1. Triggerfish

          Cheap phone packages are available; Mrs Commswonk has one to talk to her daughter abroad.

          Yes still not cheaper than leached wifi, receivers in some countries may have to pay charge to recieve and it would be prohibitively expensive for them.

          "Facebook tends to be a lazy way" might be more accurate. Apart from anything else if I want to communicate with specific friends I do not world + dog listening from the sidelines; if all the friends are mutual there might be some excuse for using Facebook but individual friends deserve individual attention.

          A good point I shall inform the whole of South East Asia to change their habits immediately.

          I'll also set up a deal with various people to make sure their English is up to scratch, meanwhile I shall be working on my languages, (sometimes typed is better).

          1. Triggerfish

            I realise the above may have been a little sarky.

            But the point is, in some places it is one of the number one messaging apps, YMMV but for me its pretty necessary to have whatsapp at the very least on my phone. I even though I have been avoiding it may have to put the facebook app on.

            It's just the way it is and it's not going to change this way anyway soon around in SEA.

            It is also a lot easy to talk by text sometimes, due to language barriers.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      I deleted my account in 2008, had to create a new one in 2015, because my employer wanted me to manage their Facebook page and it was a way of keeping in touch with my family in the UK... But I am so busy with real life, that I only had time to post the official posts for the company every day.

      Since I left the company, I think I have looked at Facebook maybe twice in the last 9 months, as I just don't have the time.

  8. 404
  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It probably cost them more than $166,000 to determine if Google owes $166,000.

    ----

    France is one of the nices places to visit in Europe (out of the places I've been). All the people were very polite and helpful. I don't get the bad reputation...

    I can't speak of the international corporations headquartered in France, or it's bureaucracy, but the people get 2 thumbs up.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      @ Boohoo4u

      - you were lucky if all polite / helpful

      Polite and helpful - guaranteed if your French language skills & accent are on a par with a native.

      If skills are of non native tourist level of a few bits of key vocab, hesitatingly strung together with no use of tense, "incorrect" tu / vous etc. then often expect a less polite response.

      Also depends where you are from, surliness levels often turned up to 11 if they detect you are from the UK.

      In balance, UK not exactly polite & helpful (as a non Londoner who occasionally passes thru there, it often looks a right ****hole with litter everywhere near main tourist spots, not enticing to visitors)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Polite and helpful - guaranteed if your French language skills & accent are on a par with a native.

        If you would take my word for it, believe me that's not the case.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        London.... often looks a right ****hole with litter everywhere near main tourist spots

        IME from working in London, there's a reason that the litter's all round the tourist spots: The chavvy bastard tourists dropping the bloody stuff. And in particular, parties of French schoolkids, who evidently come from a culture where the whole world is a litter bin.

        In small numbers, or in locations where there's little other economic activity, tourism's (sometimes) great. But in a busy metropolitan location where people are trying to do real jobs, tourists are just a pestilence, of value only to hotels and restaurants. Creates more congestion, more noise and pollution from flight-loads of camera toting peasants into the over-capacity dump that is Heathrow, pushes up accomodation prices, and worst of all, gives life to crappola non-authentic businesses like Aberdeen Steak House, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Hard Rock Cafe and the like.

        I think we should promote the accurate image of London as a scabby, crime and litter infested dump, stuffed with ersatz history and culture, with the specific intention of putting off tourists. Let them go to Paris, where they can traipse along the Champs du Dogshite, dodge the Parisian drivers, and experience the traditional pickpocketing around Gare du Nord.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > France is one of the nices places to visit in Europe (out of the places I've been). All the people were very polite and helpful. I don't get the bad reputation...

      FYI, France is the relatively large chunk of landmass directly south of Britain, north of the Pyrenees and very roughly west of the Rhine, where passive-aggressiveness and sarcasm are considered desirable social traits. Est-ce que je peux te conseiller d'acheter un nouveau système de navigation ?

      1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

        eh?

        France is California?

        explains a lot then.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was just talking to my kids about tracking blockers being the single most important online tool. That an not being a fool; think, block, have fun.

  11. VinceH

    "In short, Europe has increasingly decided that it will not continue to allow US-based tech giants to break European law. It is prepared to hit them where it hurts – in the pocket – to force them to comply with data protection laws."

    And that's just one reason why I am so glad that we in the UK are a part of the EU... oh, wait. :(

  12. LDS Silver badge

    Whatsapp got a 3 million fine in Italy.

    The antitrust agency determined it made users share data with Facebook using deceptive information.

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