Facebook suffers GDPR fine of $18.6 million for EU Data breach

Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook and WhatsApp, was handed a €17 million (18.6 million) fine by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) on Tuesday for a number of security flaws that were in violation of the GDPR laws in the region that are enforced by the European Union.

In a press release, the watchdog stated, “The DPC found that Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organizational measures that would enable it to readily demonstrate the security measures that it implemented in practice to protect EU users’ data, in the context of the 12 personal data breaches.”

The decision comes as a result of the regulator’s investigation into 12 Facebook data breach notifications it received between June 7, 2018, and December 4, 2018.

Meta, in a statement that was provided to the Associated Press, stated that “This fine is about data protection practices from 2018 that we have since updated, not a failure to protect people’s information.” We will carefully consider this decision as our processes continue to evolve as we take our GDPR fine obligations seriously.”

The DPC imposed a similar penalty on WhatsApp in September 2021, fining the messaging service €225 million for failing to comply with its GDPR transparency obligations. In response to the ruling, WhatsApp modified its privacy policy regarding the sharing of European users’ data with Meta, its parent company.

In July 2021, Amazon was also fined $886.6 million by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for violating data processing laws around the same time. Then, earlier this year, France fined both Meta and Google for not giving users an easy way to reject cookie tracking technology, in violation of EU privacy regulations.

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