Meta has been hit with a €265 million data protection fine from the Irish Data Protection Commission over allegations that the company compromised on the privacy of its users.
The privacy watchdog has alleged that the parent company of Facebook and Instagram has failed to protect the data of more than half a billion users, potentially leaving many of those affected at much greater risk from scams such as Identity theft Further down the line.
The news comes next A security researcher revealed The data of more than 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, of whom about 32 million are from the United States and 11 million from the United Kingdom, which includes phone numbers, dates of birth, email addresses and locations, has been leaked.
The regulator, which has power over Meta because of the company’s European headquarters in the country, said the regulator in the current situation (Opens in a new tab) That Meta violated the GDPR’s obligation to “protect data by design and omission”.
In addition to the hefty fine, the regulator’s decision would force Meta to “make its treatment compliant by taking a set of specific remedial actions within a given time frame.” Meta still has the option to appeal the fine in an Irish court.
Commenting on the news, a Meta spokesperson said the company made changes to its “systems during the time in question, including removing the ability to scrape our features in this way using phone numbers.”
They added: “Unauthorized data scraping is unacceptable and against our rules and we will continue to work with our peers to address this challenge in the industry.
Meta is no stranger to the outsized aims of EU regulators. The WhatsApp with a fine of 225 million euros for transparency breaches in September 2021.
In September 2022, Instagram was fined €405 million related to how the social media platform handles data on children.
In March 2022, Meta was fined €17 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for a series of historical data breaches dating back to 2018.