Ireland’s Irish Data Protection Commission has fined Meta $1.3 billion over Facebook’s illegal transfers of European users’ personal data to the United States.
Facebook has also been ordered to stop sending any more information to the United States. This could lead to Facebook and Instagram being banned in the European Union.
Meta will have to change how it runs its business unless it can do something about the controversial data sharing that has been going on.
META in Trouble
“The European Data Protection Board found that [Meta’s] infringement is very serious since it concerns transfers that are systematic, repetitive and continuous. Facebook has millions of users in Europe so the volume of personal data transferred is massive. The unprecedented fine is a strong signal to organisations that serious infringements have far-reaching consequences,” said EPDB chair Andrea Jelinek.
“We are appealing this decision and will immediately seek a stay with the courts who can pause implementation deadlines given the harm that these orders would cause, including to millions of people who use Facebook every day,” said Nick Clegg and Jennifer Newstead, who are Meta’s global affairs president and chief legal officer respectively.
According to Fortune magazine this problem was already detected way back in 2013 when Max Schrems a student lawyer from Austria saw the revelations of the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden about the U.S surveillance programs and challenged Facebook’s data transfers to the US on the grounds that the company couldn’t guarantee the privacy rights of users from the European Union.
“We are happy to see this decision after 10 years of litigation. The fine could have been much higher, given that the maximum fine [under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR] is more than £4 billion and Meta has knowingly broken the law to make a profit for 10 years. Unless U.S surveillance laws get fixed, Meta will have to fundamentally restructure its systems.”
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The photo above is from a YouTube screen grab