Meta Platforms Faces $14 Million Fine Over Onavo Privacy Concerns, According to Reports

An Australian court has recently ruled that Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, must pay fines totaling 20 million Australian dollars ($14 million) due to the unauthorized collection of user data through the smartphone application Onavo.

According to a report by Reuters, the Federal Court of Australia has instructed Meta, along with its subsidiaries Facebook Israel and the now-defunct app Onavo, to reimburse AU$400,000 ($270,356) in legal costs to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC had filed a civil lawsuit against Meta, alleging that Onavo was marketed as a privacy protection tool but concealed its data collection practices from users.

Judge Wendy Abraham stated in a written judgment that Facebook utilized Onavo to gather users’ location, activity timing, and the frequency of their interactions with other smartphone apps and websites for advertising purposes.

Meta reportedly acknowledged that the ACCC recognized the absence of any deliberate attempt to deceive customers and highlighted the company’s ongoing efforts to develop tools that offer users more transparency and control over their data usage.

While this fine concludes one aspect of Meta’s legal challenges in Australia concerning user data management, the company is still facing a civil court action brought by Australia’s Office of the Information Commissioner regarding its interactions with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, particularly within the Australian context.

CryptoGrafos contacted Meta for further information but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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