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Federal Court Slaps Facebook with US$ 34 Million Fine

04/06/2018 - 11h16

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FROM SÃO PAULO

At the request of the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office in the state of Amazonas, a federal court slapped Facebook with a R$ 111.7 million fine (US$ 33.5 million) after the social network refused to collaborate in an ongoing police operation (Maus Caminhos) which is looking into the misappropriation of public health funds.

The Prosecutor's Office accused the company of disobeying a court order demanding that the social network provide investigators with profiles and chats on Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook.

The penalty corresponds to a daily R$ 1 million fine (US$ 333 thousand) for every day between the period of June 13th, 2016 and September 20th, 2016, which was the day operation was launched, rendering the requested documents unnecessary.

In July of that same year, a federal court blocked R$ 38 million (US$ 11.4 million) in Facebook revenues for not complying with the ruling, but the money was unfrozen by an appellate court.

Facebook has said that it "respects the Brazilian courts and cooperates with the authorities". In a lawsuit tried in a superior court, the company said that requests for accessing user information should be made out to the US government.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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