Meta (formerly known as Facebook) is facing yet another record-breaking sanction in Europe. The company has been hit with a colossal fine, requiring it to pay a hefty sum of €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), and it is now prohibited from transferring data collected from European users to the United States.
1.2 billion euros and the end of data transfer to the US!
This is just the latest in a long list of penalties that the company has faced for its mishandling of user data and privacy violations. In fact, the total amount of fines imposed since 2000 has now reached approximately $7 billion.
Not all peaks are meant to be reached
Meta has been repeatedly found guilty of violating data protection rules, surpassing the peaks of penalties imposed both in the European Union and the United States. In fact, Meta alone is responsible for 50% of the fines imposed since the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018.
The fine, announced by the Irish Data Protection Commission, aims to encourage the social media giant to reassess its data collection and processing strategies. However, Meta has quickly announced its intention to appeal the decision. Its lawyers argue that the company is unfairly targeted while thousands of other companies engage in similar practices.
Meanwhile, negotiations are underway between the European Union and the United States to establish a new data-sharing agreement. It is evident that this case against Meta is a direct result of U.S. policies that grant intelligence agencies the power to intercept foreign communications. If a compromise is reached, it will have a significant impact on Meta and other companies that rely on transatlantic data transfers.
Instagram and WhatsApp spared
It is important to note that the data transfer ban only applies to Facebook and not to Instagram or WhatsApp, which are also part of Meta’s portfolio. But don’t worry, Facebook users should not expect any immediate disruption of service.
Overall, Meta finds itself once again in trouble, facing a hefty fine and data transfer restrictions. The outcome of the company’s appeal and the ongoing negotiations will determine its future course of action to comply with data protection regulations and maintain its global operations.