Facebook to pay out $9 million for fraudulent privacy claims

The social media giant Facebook is being ordered to pay $9 million dollars by the Competition Bureau, after providing Canadians with misleading information.

The social media giant Facebook is being ordered to pay $9 million dollars by the Competition Bureau, after providing Canadians with misleading information regarding the protection of their personal information while using services such as Facebook Messenger, according to Radio Canada.

The Competition Bureau stated that Facebook will also be required to pay an additional $500,000 for the cost of the investigation, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

The investigation reviewed Facebook's practices between August 2012 to June 2018 before reaching this determination.

The Bureau also stated that the Competition Tribunal will regulate an agreement with Facebook for the social media giant to not give misleading or false information, nor give misleading indications regarding the disclosure of personal information.

Facebook was accused by the Competition Bureau of misleading users to believe that they could limit access to their personal information through adjusting user privacy settings through the general settings page. Options such as "Settings for confidentiality" on the "About" page and being able to select who could view your publications on with the audience selection menu gave users the idea that their privacy was secure.

However, Facebook did not limit the sharing of one's personal information with specific third party developers, with which it shared everything from user posts to private messages exchanged on Messenger.

Furthermore, the Competition Bureau discovered that Facebook allowed specific third party developers to access the personal information of users Facebook friends as well, after certain third-party applications were installed.