Meta fined record $1.3 billion for data privacy violations
Meta (formerly Facebook) has been slapped with a record-breaking fine of $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) by EU data regulators and ordered to halt the transfer of Facebook user data from the EU to the US. The ruling was made by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), stating that the current legal framework for such data transfers fails to address the risks posed to the fundamental rights and freedoms of EU users and violates GDPR. The fine surpasses the previous EU record set in 2021 when Amazon was fined €746 million for similar privacy violations.
Data transfers to the US are crucial for Meta’s extensive ad-targeting operations, which rely on processing vast amounts of personal data from users. Last year, Meta warned that it might have to consider shutting down Facebook and Instagram in the EU if it could not transfer data to the US, a statement that EU politicians perceived as a blatant threat. EU lawmaker Axel Voss responded, asserting that Meta cannot use blackmail to compromise EU data protection standards and that leaving the EU would ultimately be the company’s loss.