The relationship between Facebook and Brazilian authorities has been contentious for quite some time, and because of that, its WhatsApp messenger has seen service bans in the country due to failure of cooperation. It appears that this type of behavior from Facebook has continues.
According to a report from Reuters, a judge has handed down a 111.7 reais ($33 million) fine because Facebook failed to grant authorities access to messages as part of a health fraud investigation.
Dating as far back as 2016 when authorities looked into corruption in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and requested WhatsApp messages exchanged by individuals suspected of scheduling to defraud the state’s health system. According to Reuters, the fine was original one million reais, but interested grew every day as Facebook failed to comply with the order starting June 2016 until the investigation was made public in September.
“Facebook cooperates with law enforcement. In this particular case we have disclosed the data required by applicable law,” a Facebook statement provided to Reuters said. “We understand this fine lacks grounds, and are exploring all legal options at our disposal.”