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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    Meta faces mega $1.3 billion fine for data privacy, EU regulator defends the decision

    Photo by Shantanu Kumar

    Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp was fined $1.3 billion for breaching data privacy laws in the European Union on Monday. On Wednesday, a top European Union data privacy regulator defended the massive fine saying that the regulatory body had enforced the law according to existing regulations.

    Helen Dixon, the Data Protection Commissioner for Ireland which is the main regulator for U.S. giant tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and other tech companies said that the decision had been taken within the existing EU-U.S. data transfer framework.

    Dixon spoke to CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange and defended the watchdog’s decision. The Commissioner said, “I have to enforce the law as it is at the time.”

    Dixon was asked why she had taken the decision to fine the U.S. tech company, at this point of time when the U.S. and the EU are looking at a new framework to replace the existing one called Privacy Shield.

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    Dixon replied that the new guideline “still hasn’t come into effect.”

    She also said that the new agreement that is called European Data Privacy Framework” was still pending.


    She added that the investigation had been completed by her last summer when the new agreement “wasn’t really on the horizon.” So, she had to enforce the law as it was during the investigation.

    U.S. tech companies have faced major fines from EU regulators but Meta’s fine is the largest ever, to date.

    Some of the fines paid by U.S. tech conglomerates through the years include the following:
    Meta—$1.3 billion
    Amazon—$887 million
    WhatsApp—$267 million.

    The fine on Meta is the biggest fine under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Meta said that it would appeal the decision as well as the fine.

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    Silicon Valley War Over Privacy: Apple and Facebook Virtual Face-Off


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