The Hungarian Competition Authority said on Friday that Facebook had misled Hungarian users by claiming that its use of its services was free, resulting in a fine of nearly $4 million (about 1.2 billion forints),media reported. Hungarian authorities say it is the largest ever issued in Hungary to protect consumers.
According to the Hungarian Competition Authority, Facebook posted slogans such as “Free, anyone can join” on its homepage and help center, claiming that its service is free. Facebook says users don’t pay anything, but they make a profit for the company by collecting and using detailed data such as consumer preferences, interests and habits.
The agency added that facebook used the information to sell advertising opportunities to its customers, which are seen by consumers by inserting them into their Facebook posts. The agency said the notice of free use of Facebook “distracts consumers from the payments they provide to the company”, the extent and extent of the data they provide and their consequences.
The agency said it not only calculated the fine based on Facebook Ireland Ltd.’s advertising revenue in Hungary, but also took into account that during the investigation, the company changed its slogan on its opening page for the free nature of the service, as well as the content of the help center.