More Trouble For Facebook: Gets Fined $33 Million For Failing To Aid Brazil Graft Probe

| April 6 , 2018 , 13:41 IST

Social networking site, Facebook has been ordered to pay $33.4 million (Rs. 217 crores) after a Brazilian judge on Thursday reprimanded them. The judge fined Facebook for failing to give access in 2016 to WhatsApp messages exchanged by individuals under investigation for defrauding the health care system of Brazil's Amazonas state.

In an email sent to Reuters, Facebook called the fine groundless. The email reads: "Facebook cooperates with law enforcement. In this particular case we have disclosed the data required by applicable law."

The statement said. "We understand this fine lacks grounds, and are exploring all legal options at our disposal."

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According to federal police, a Brazilian judge ordered in April 2016 that Facebook give authorities access to the WhatsApp messages in question.

The fine amounted to BRL 1 million plus interest for every day Facebook did not comply with the order, beginning when it took effect in mid-June 2016 and ending when the corruption investigation was made public that September, police said.

Through the probe known as "Operacao Maus Caminhos," or "Operation Bad Paths," federal police exposed the embezzlement of tens of millions of reais of public funds.

The social networking giant Facebook is currently facing investigations into the purported leak of data to political analyst firm Cambridge Analytica and the use of the data in influencing elections in several nations.