February 18, 2020 / 2:47 AM / a month ago

Colombia tells Facebook to boost security for users' data

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Facebook is seen in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia on Monday issued an ultimatum to Facebook, telling the Silicon Valley-based tech giant it must strengthen its security measures to better protect users’ personal data in the Andean country.

Facebook has until June 14 to implement useful and effective new security measures to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use of personal data, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce said in a statement.

Security improvements will help protect the 31 million Colombians who have Facebook accounts, the SIC said.

Similar measures against Facebook have previously been adopted by Australia, Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Holland, Ireland and New Zealand.

“A company as vital to global cyber-security as Facebook... has a duty to be more than diligent in processing data,” the SIC said. “The company should not hold back from improving security for all of its users, as demanded by regulators.”

The social media site is not the first Silicon Valley company to face the wrath of the SIC. In December, ride-hailing company Uber was ordered to cease operations in the South American country after the SIC said it had violated competition rules.

Facebook must certify that it has made security improvements through an external audit firm, the SIC said.

A spokesman for Facebook told Reuters the company would not comment on the decision by Colombian regulators.

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Additional reporting and writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Dan Grebler

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