• The Australian ACCC consumer watchdog has blamed Facebook for creating fake users of its VPN.
  • ACCC declares that Facebook’s VPN application, Onavo Protect misled users and stole their data.
  • The social media giant is currently only in the midst of a lawsuit and can be fined if they are found to be guilty.

It appears that privacy regulators have been keeping tech giants off their radar. Facebook is frequently criticized for using data of users without their permission. Recently Facebook came across an action in court filed against it by U.S. federal regulators. It was the largest ever in the company’s history.
As AllPrivacyGuard has reported that the social media giant found itself in hot water just a few days ago as well. Privacy activists targeted the tech giant following its announcement that it was moving U.K. users from the EU’s jurisdiction to US terms.

Now, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for deceiving users with their Onavo Protect VPN service. ACCC charges Zuckerberg’s Facebook with stealing the private information of users by creating false identities.

As per reports, ACCC claims that Facebook has misled users by promoting its VPN application Onavo Protect, which was removed in the year 2019. According to ACCC’s claims, Facebook went against the privacy policies it pledged to provide in its VPN service. The users believed that their information was being protected however, it was not.

It’s not the first time. Facebook is accused of committing such crimes numerous times before. It’s now the norm for Facebook to deal with these kinds of instances.

Should Facebook is found to be guilty of deceiving its users, the company could be punished severely, including a substantial fine.

What’s Facebook’s stance on this claim?

On the 16th of December in 2020 ACCC filed suit against Facebook as well as two subsidiaries: Facebook Israel and Onavo Inc. The Australian regulator filed the suit in the Australian Federal Court. According to the complaint, Facebook deceived its users between February 2016 and October 2017.

Onavo Protect was a VPN service that was provided through Facebook smartphones at no cost before it was taken out in 2019.

Instead of protecting the data of users as was highlighted in the commercial, Onavo Protect gathered valuable data and used it to serve its commercial gain.

Facebook did not immediately respond to ACCC’s assertions. The company, however, has since called ACCC. The team of Zuckerberg is examining the court’s filing and will make a decision accordingly.

Facebook is on the list of privacy activists and monitors

Facebook has come subject to a lot of criticism lately. Its suit that US regulators have filed against the company is said as the most significant legal action that the American government has ever taken against the company.

Facebook is being pressured to give up Instagram as well as WhatsApp. The reason for this suit is to shake the dominance of Facebook.

This ACCC litigation is just one of its kind, which was followed by the U.S. lawsuit. Australia’s consumer regulator has created a law that could threaten the tech companies’ (likes of Facebook and Google) autonomy.

The law states that these companies have to pay media outlets each time they host news on their platforms. If they fail to do so then they could face a fine of thousands of dollars in fines.

Additionally, as well, the Information Commission of Australia also brought a lawsuit against FB in connection with the breach of more than 300K+ users’ personal information. This lawsuit was brought in the month of March 2020 against the company over this shady act.

Facebook is already paying billions of dollars in penalties this year. It appears to be challenging to come by for the king of social media since a series of court hearings await the company’s representatives.