Noah Berger / AP

Spain's data compliance regulatory body, Agencia Española de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD) announced Monday that it's fining Facebook $1.4 million for using consumers' data, without legal and explicit consent, to help advertisers target ads. One issue that was specifically addressed was Facebook's storing of data via cookies for up to 17 months after a user deletes her profile.

The investigation is a part of a coordinated effort between authorities in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands to investigate whether Facebook complies with EU data privacy laws. Authorities from France's data privacy regulatory arm announced earlier this year they were fining Facebook 150,000 euros for violating data privacy standards, and Belgium announced similar conclusions.

Why it matters: Europe has much stricter data privacy policies than the U.S., which has inhibited data-driven U.S. tech companies like Facebook and Google in those markets. Facebook, in particular, has been affected because of cookies they use to collect users' data even when they aren't signed in. E.U. regulators argue Facebook isn't doing enough to inform people about data collection.

Our thought bubble: European regulators introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year, which will put major restraints on how these companies can use consumer data to sell ads beginning in 2018. Facebook's struggle to comply with current standards could mean trouble as more aggressive laws are implemented next year.

The bigger picture: European countries have great access to broadband but they use much less social media. Per Pew, only 37% of Germans use social media but 86% have internet access. The point: this anti-tech attitude stems from cultural trends favoring privacy.

Go deeper

56 mins ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

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