A long-running standoff between Facebook and Canada's privacy commissioner is heading to Federal Court after a scathing report from the privacy watchdog said the company "outright rejected" guidance that would bring it into compliance with Canada's privacy laws.
The app encouraged users to complete a personality quiz, according to the report, and collected data including their profile and cover photo, hometown, birthdate, Facebook page "likes" and - if permission was granted - posts and private messages.
Facebook is in the process of changing how it reports user metrics, moving toward family audience metrics that aggregate users across its "Family" of core platforms: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Facebook's 2.38 billion users are an attractive audience for third-party app developers and content sites, which develop games, apps and information to grab users' eyeballs.
Facebook has announced to ban personality quiz apps on its platform - a move taken after the Cambridge Analytica scandal a year ago that helped researchers access personal information of 87 million users via the quiz app "thisisyourdigitallife". In addition, apps will also be restricted from asking for data that doesn't directly improve the in-app user experience.
"The commissioners concluded that Facebook broke Canada's privacy law regulating businesses by neglecting to obtain legal and meaningful consent of installing their buddies, and that it had" insufficient safeguards" to protect user info. "The sum of these measures resulted in a privacy protection framework that was empty", the report says.
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"Facebook has spent more than a decade expressing contrition for its actions and avowing its commitment to people's privacy", B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy added.
McEvoy said Canada needs legislation allowing regulators to bring companies into line with the law where need be. It is to be noted that, the UK's Information Commissioner Office (ICO) has also inflicted £500,000 fine on Facebook covering the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The social-media giant started by disputing whether the privacy commissioner even had jurisdiction over the matter.
A number of data privacy-related controversies rocked the boat for Facebook past year.
Mr Therrien said his office planned to go to court "to seek an order to force the company to correct its privacy practices".
US Federal regulators are reportedly considering seeking some kind of oversight over Mark Zuckerberg's leadership of Facebook over the social network giant's mishandling of users' personal information. Facebook has previously acknowledged that it unintentionally uploaded the contacts.