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Eric Lieberman

The Spanish government reportedly fined Facebook $1.4 million for collecting data on people’s religious beliefs and ideology.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency (DPA) says Facebook has been violating the country’s privacy rules, which forbids the stockpiling of certain personal information without explicit consent, according to TechCrunch.

The social media company accumulates, maintains and then utilizes data for marketing purposes, whether directly for itself or third-party partners. In doing so, the watchdog bureau identified three main transgressions, one costing about $715,000, and two costing about $360,000 each.

Facebook told TechCrunch that it plans on appealing the decision.

“We take note of the DPA’s decision with which we respectfully disagree,” said a representative for Facebook. “As we made clear to the DPA, users choose which information they want to add to their profile and share with others, such as their religion. However, we do not use this information to target adverts to people.”

Several U.S. tech companies have been receiving fines abroad in recent months and years. A French regulatory agency fined Facebook about $180,000 for six violations of collecting users’ information “without having a legal basis.” Similar agencies in other countries like Belgium and the Netherlands also criticized Facebook for infringing upon EU rules by tracking users browsing activity without an adequate amount of notification. (RELATED: Germany Is Investigating Facebook’s Collection Of Private Data, Says Report)

The European Commission, an institution of the EU, issued a $122 million penalty on Facebook in May for “providing incorrect or misleading information” pertaining to its purchase of the messaging platform WhatsApp. The EU’s antitrust arm slapped Google with a record $2.71 billion fine June 27, 2017 for allegedly favoring some of its own price-comparison search results over those of its rivals. Following the steep financial punishment, reports showed that the massive American-based tech conglomerate was vamping up its legal team in the European jurisdiction.

In contrast, a U.S. judge recently threw away a legal complaint that claimed Facebook tracks users after they log out of their accounts and navigate other parts of the web. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila of San Jose, Calif., said at the time that the plaintiffs failed to make their case, specifically that they suffered any “realistic” economic harm or that their privacy was significantly infringed upon. (RELATED: Facebook Ordered To Delete ‘Hate Speech’ After Country’s Green Party Leader Is Insulted)

Facebook did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment by time of publication.

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