Facebook Fined $277 Million for Privacy Violations

Spread the love

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has slapped Facebook owner Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (MPIL) with a fine of €265 million ($277 million) for violating user privacy.

The penalty is related to an investigation that began in April last year after it came to light that a collated dataset of Facebook personal data was available online, according to a press release on Nov. 28. Facebook was seen as not having properly safeguarded its platform against being “scraped” for information, due to which user names, birth dates, locations, and other data leaked. The DPC had ordered the platform to take corrective actions on the issue.

For the investigation, the agency looked into Facebook’s implementation of technical and organizational concepts per Article 25 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the data privacy law in the European Union.

Article 25 requires businesses to ensure that data protection is designed into the development of business processes for both products and services. As such, privacy settings must, by default, be set at a high level.

The agency conducted a comprehensive inquiry process and cooperated with other data-protection supervisory authorities in the European Union, who all agreed with the DPC’s conclusion on the matter, said the DPC.

“The decision, which was adopted on Friday, 25 November 2022, records findings of infringement of Articles 25(1) and 25(2) GDPR. The decision imposed a reprimand and an order requiring MPIL to bring its processing into compliance by taking a range of specified remedial actions within a particular time frame,” the release said.

In a statement, Meta said that “unauthorized data scraping is unacceptable” and is against the company’s rules, according to The New York Times. The firm claimed to have changed its policies to prevent such activities.

Other Fines

Meta has been previously fined by the Irish DPC several times. In October 2021, for example, the agency fined Meta around $235 million for violations linked to its WhatsApp messaging service. In September this year, the DPC fined Meta around $400 million for mistreating data related to children on Instagram.

Together with the most recent fines, the Irish DPC has charged Meta with fines totaling more than $900 million. Meta had announced its plans to appeal the agency’s decision on WhatsApp and Instagram penalties. However, the company has not announced whether it would appeal the latest fine.

Facebook is also embroiled in other privacy scandals. A joint investigative report by The Markup and The Verge on Nov. 22 revealed that Meta’s Pixels, a widely used code on Facebook that tracks the online activity of users, allowed it to secretly receive personal financial information via online tax-filing services.

Earlier this year in May, Facebook sent checks of up to $397.00 to 1.4 million people in Illinois as part of compensation for a $650 million class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the suit had blamed the platform for using facial recognition data without gaining user consent.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Meta.

Naveen Athrappully


Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.