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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Heavy Fine Levied on Facebook for Users’ Data Violation 

Another Meta-owned company, WhatsApp, has also been fined by Ireland's DPC

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Hrishita Chatterjee
Hrishita Chatterjee
Covering culture and trending topics

IRELAND: The owner of Facebook Meta was penalised £1 billion (1.2 billion euros) for improper treatment of user data during transfer between the European Union and the United States.

This fine, which was imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), is the biggest one ever levied in accordance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. When transmitting user data outside of the EU, companies must abide by the regulations outlined by GDPR.

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Recently, the US updated its internal legal protections to provide the EU with stronger guarantees that American intelligence services would abide by fresh laws governing such data access. 

Due to similar breaches of privacy in the EU, Amazon received a fine in 2021. Another Meta-owned company, WhatsApp, has also been fined by Ireland’s DPC for failing to comply with strict rules governing the openness of data shared with its other companies.

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Most significant companies transfer a complex web of data to foreign recipients, comprising email addresses, phone numbers, and financial information; many of the aforementioned transfers rely on SCCs. As stated by Meta, the fine is unreasonable because of its widespread use.

Nick Clegg, Facebook president, expressed his disappointment at being singled out while using the same legal system as thousands of other businesses seeking to sell services in Europe. 

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Clegg added, “This decision is flawed, unjustified and sets a dangerous precedent for the countless other companies transferring data between the EU and US.”

As for the “unjustified and unnecessary” decision, Meta says it will appeal against it. Standard contractual clauses (SCCs), which are used for transferring data from the European Union to the US, are at the heart of this ruling.

These contracts, which have been established by the European Commission, include safeguards to guarantee that personal data is still safeguarded when sent elsewhere outside of Europe.

Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed in 2013 that American authorities have frequently obtained peoples’ personal data through technology companies like Facebook and Google.

A decade-long legal dispute over the legitimacy of moving EU data to the US commenced when Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems sued Facebook for violating his privacy rights. 

Also Read: SAM: Meta Introduces Object Identification Model for Images and Videos

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