The owner of Facebook has been given a record fine following violations of privacy rules in the EU.
The social media giant Meta breached GDPR in the transfer of European users’ data to the US.
The €1.2 billion fine was decided according to determinations by the European Data Protection Board after the DPC struggled to agree with Concerned Supervisory Authorities on an appropriate sanction.
This is the biggest fine a tech company has faced. Previously, the largest fine was a €746 million penalty against Amazon.
Meta, whose global operations outside the US is based in Dublin, has been instructed to suspend any future data transfers to the US within five months.
It was also told to comply with GDPR against “unlawful processing, including storage” of data within six months.
This decision only applies to Facebook and no other Meta-owned companies such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
Following the EDPB’s binding dispute resolution decision, Meta Platforms Ireland Limited was issued a 1.2 billion euro fine as a result of an inquiry into its Facebook service by the Irish DPA - the largest GDPR fine to date! Read all about it here: https://t.co/ti4iFMm73M pic.twitter.com/iJnKZNMp1x
— EDPB (@EU_EDPB) May 22, 2023
Newstalk Tech Correspondent Jess Kelly explained this decision stems back to a legal challenge brought by Austrian privacy campaigner, Max Schrems.
“[Schrems] raised concerns over Edward Snowden’s revelations that EU users’ data is not sufficiently protected from US intelligence agencies when it's transferred from Europe to the US,” Jess said.
Meta has said it would appeal the decision.
"We are disappointed to have been singled out when using the same legal mechanism as thousands of other companies looking to provide services in Europe,” Meta said in a statement.
“This decision is flawed, unjustified and sets a dangerous precedent for the countless other companies transferring data between the EU and the US.”