Meta Fined $414 Million To Ireland For Privacy Breach

European Union regulators on Wednesday imposed a fine on Meta of $414 million (390 million euros) for privacy violations and also banned the company from forcing users in the 27-nation bloc to agree to personalised ads. 

The Data Protection Commission of Ireland hit two fines on Facebook parent Meta that could shake up Meta’s business model of targeting users with ads based on what they do. Regarding this fine, the company said it would appeal. 

Irish fined the company 210 million euros for violating EU data privacy rules involving Facebook and an additional 180 million euros for breaches involving Instagram. 

Meta and other big tech companies have come under pressure from the European Union’s Privacy Rules. Irish regulators have already attacked Meta with four fines for data privacy infringements since 2021, totalling 900 million euros. 

Facebook parent Meta also faces regulatory headaches from EU antitrust officials in Brussels flexing their muscles against tech giants. 

Previously, Meta took users’ consent to process their personal data in order to provide them with personalised or behavioural information. When GDRP came into force, the company changed the legal basis under which it processes user data to add a clause to the terms of services for advertisements, forcing users to agree that their data could be used. 

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Meta said in a statement that “We strongly believe our approach respects GDPR, and we’re therefore disappointed by these decisions and intend to appeal both the substance of the rulings and the fines.”

Meta has three months to ensure its processing operations comply with European Union regulators; however, the ruling does not specify what the company has to do. Meta noted that the decision could not prevent it from displaying ads; it only covers the legal basis for handling user data.

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