Meta has been hit with a €265 million data protection fine from the Irish Data Protection Commission over claims the firm let down its users’ privacy.
Privacy watchdog said that Facebook and Instagram had failed to secure the data of over half a million users. This could put a large number of people impacted at greater risk of identity theft or frauds.
This is the news that comes after a security researcher revealed that data from over 533,000,000 Facebook users from 106 nations had been leaked. These numbers included phone numbers and birth dates.
The regulator, which has authority over Meta due to the company having its European headquarters in the country, said In a statement (Opens in new tab Meta violated the GDPR requirement for “Data Protection by Design and Default”.
Meta will be required to comply with the regulation’s decision by taking specific remedial actions within a specified time frame. Meta still has the option to appeal the fine before an Irish court.
Commenting on the news, a spokesperson for Meta said the company had made changes to its “systems during the time in question, including removing the ability to scrape our features in this way using phone numbers“.
They stated that unauthorized data collection was not allowed and is against our rules.
Meta isn’t afraid of huge fines from EU regulators. WhatsApp was hit with a €225 million fine September 2021: Transparency violations
In September 2022, Instagram was hit with an even fatter fine of €405 million related to how the social media platform handled data belonging to children.
In March 2022, Meta was fined €17 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) over a string of historical data breaches dating back to 2018.