The Irish data regulator announced that Meta must pay €210 million (approximately $222 million) for violating European Union privacy rules with Facebook’s practices and €180 million (around $191 million) over similar violations with Instagram.
Why has Ireland fined Meta?
Ireland’s DPC has Meta over how it handled user data in 2018. Both Facebook and Instagram released new terms of service that essentially allowed the company to process user data for target advertising. However, complaints alleged that users were forced to accept the new guidelines, violating the privacy rules in the EU.
What Meta has to say on the ruling
Meta says that it will appeal the substance of the decision and also plan to challenge the size of the fines imposed.
“There has been a lack of regulatory clarity on this issue, and the debate among regulators and policymakers around which legal bases are most appropriate in a given situation has been ongoing for some time. This issue is also currently being debated by the highest courts in the EU, who may yet reach a different conclusion altogether. That’s why we strongly disagree with the DPC’s final decision and believe we fully comply with GDPR by relying on Contractual Necessity for behavioural ads given the nature of our services. As a result, we will appeal the substance of the decision,” Meta said.
Previous fine on Meta in Ireland
Last year, the Irish data regulator imposed a $277 million fine on Meta after the private data of more than half a billion users were leaked, which was found to be in violation of European Union data protection rules.
Between 2018 and 2019, the private data of Facebook users, including names, IDs, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates and locations, were published on a hacking website, affecting around 557 million users across 100 different countries.
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