Record fine of 1.2 billion euros against Facebook mother Meta

Record fine of 1.2 billion euros against Facebook mother Meta


This was announced by the Irish data protection authority DPC on Monday in Dublin. The case is about Facebook’s involvement in mass surveillance by Anglo-American secret services, which was uncovered ten years ago by US whistleblower Edward Snowden. At the time, the Austrian data protection activist Max Schrems filed a complaint against Facebook.

The fine imposed by the DPC dwarfs the previous record fine of €746 million for Amazon.com in Luxembourg. In addition, Meta must stop any further transfer of European personal data to the United States as the company remains subject to US surveillance laws.

Legal proceedings could drag on for years

Meta did not comment on the record penalty for the time being. However, experts assume that the US group will appeal the decision. However, court proceedings can take years. By then, a new data pact could come into force between the European Union and the USA, which would regulate transatlantic data traffic. Meta had previously threatened to withdraw completely from the EU if transatlantic data transfer was not permanently possible.

Schrems explained that the fine imposed could have been much higher: “The maximum fine is over four billion. And Meta has knowingly violated the GDPR for ten years to make a profit.” If US surveillance laws are not changed, Meta will probably have to fundamentally restructure its systems, Schrems explained.

The Irish data protection authority DPC had refused for years to take action against Facebook in this matter. Ultimately, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) obliged the DPC to impose a fine on the social network. The current decision only relates to Facebook, not to other services from the meta group such as Instagram or WhatsApp. However, Meta had already been fined 390 million euros by the DPC in January because Facebook and Instagram users had been forced to agree to personalized advertising.

So far, the new penalty for Meta has seen fines totaling €4 billion since the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect five years ago. Meta is now represented six times in the list of the ten highest fines, the penalties now add up to 2.5 billion euros. The fashion chain H&M had to pay the highest fine in Germany of 35 million euros in 2020 due to an insufficient legal basis for the data processing of its online shop.

Source: Nachrichten

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