It would seem Meta will face fines totaling over $400 million USD in Europe over violation of data privacy laws regarding Facebook and Instagram. The data protection and privacy authority known as the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has concluded two investigations that both found that the popular social media apps engaged in advertising and data handling practices that were in breach of EU privacy laws. The DPC suggested fines for each investigation which came out to a total of 390 million Euros, or around $414 million USD.
The results of the Irish Data Protection Commission’s investigations and the fines accompanying them were shared in a press release on the organization’s website:
Essentially, what the above excerpt argues is that Facebook and Instagram were not transparent enough with matters of consent, legal agreements, and data usage purposes in regards to user data and access to said data on the apps. Moreover, the DPC argued that the forced consent to access features of said apps did not exempt Meta from the breach of EU data privacy laws. It’s not the first time Meta has faced penalties and scrutiny over its handling and access of user data either. The company was forced to make changes to its ad-targeting technology after a settlement with the United States Justice Department in 2022. Meta also clashed with Apple over the release of iOS 14.5 and its app-tracking protection features in 2021.
With Meta having lost tons of money over VR development and research, as well as losing lead tech engineer John Carmack just before the end of 2022, the company is starting 2023 on shaky footing. It will be interesting to see what it has in store for the year and if the Meta ship can right itself. Stay tuned for further updates.