February 4, 2023

The Irish subsidiary of Facebook owner Meta Platforms has been fined €265 million today by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission for breaching the EU GDPR.

The commission launched an investigation in April 2021 following speculations about the collected dataset of Facebook personal data had been made available on the internet.

The data was related to Facebook Search, Facebook Messenger Contact Importer and Instagram Contact Importer tools that was gathered between May 2018 and September 2019.

Under the consideration, the published data complied with the GDPR obligation of Data Protection by Design and Default, Article 25 of the regulation. Having undertaken a comprehensive inquiry, the commission found that Meta breached Articles 25(1) and 25(2) of the GDPR.

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Meta was also ordered to bring its processing into compliance by taking a range of specified remedial actions within a particular timeframe.

The fine is not the first time Meta and its subsidiaries have been penalized by Ireland’s regulator.

  • Meta was fined $402 million in September after the Data Protection Commission found that Instagram had failed to comply with GDPR regulations.
  • $18.7 million in March in relation to cybersecurity controls
  • $267 million in September 2021 for a GDPR breach involving WhatsApp.

Companies that are used to operating with minimal concern for user data privacy need to understand that we’ve been moving towards stronger protections and user rights for some time, especially in Europe.

Information is wealth, until or unless it is protected properly. All countries are making data protection law more stringent and regulated.

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