Meta (Facebook) Fined $276 Million In Europe For Data Leak

The Irish Data Protection Commission, Europe’s main privacy regulator, has imposed a €265 million (about $276 million) fine on Meta for leaking the data of more than 500 users Facebook.

According to the WSJ, Meta for violating European privacy rules, the tech giant was fined around $275 million on Monday for a data leak, discovered last year, that resulted the personal information of more than 500 million Facebook users was published online.

The penalty brought by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission compares to the fines the regulator has imposed against Meta since last year to more than $900 million. In September, the same regulator fined the company about $400 million for child data abuse. In October last year, Irish authorities fined Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, 225 million euros, or about $235 million, for violations related to the messaging service WhatsApp.

The cumulative penalties would be a welcome sign to privacy groups that would like to see European Union regulators more aggressively enforce the General Data Protection Regulation.

Ireland has come under pressure because of its important role in enforcing the E.U. data protection rules. The country assesses tech companies’ compliance with the 2018 law as companies like Meta, Google and Twitter brought the E.U. Headquarters in Ireland. TikTok, has also set up an E.U. center in Ireland, was the subject of another investigation there.


The fine issued on Monday stems from an investigation started last year by Irish regulators into reports that Facebook failed to protect its platform from information “stolen”, leading to the publication of data on an online hacker forum including the name and location of the user, and date of birth, violating rules that require companies to protect personal information.

Meta said in a statement that “unauthorized data collection is unacceptable and goes against our rules.” The company says it has changed its policies to prevent such behaviour. Meta did not say whether it would appeal the decision, as for previous Instagram and WhatsApp penalties.

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