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Facebook fined $166,000 for breach of French privacy laws

PARIS (AP) — France’s independent privacy watchdog has fined Facebook for breaching French privacy laws by tracking and using the personal data of 33 million users, as well as non-users who browse the internet.

The National Commission on Informatics and Liberties imposed sanctions of 150,000 euros ($166,000) on the social networking company Tuesday for failing to comply with French data protection laws after a formal warning last year.

The commission said in a statement that Facebook carries out a “massive compilation of personal data” for targeted advertising “without a legal base.” It says users have no means of objecting.

The watchdog has accused Facebook of collecting data about account holders’ “political or religious opinions” and “sexual orientation” without informing them.

French Facebook representatives didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call and text message seeking comment.

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