Meta receives landmark fine and faces legal battles over data mishandling

Meta was fined €1.2bn for data mishandling and violation of a EU court ruling. The company stated it plans to appeal.

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has been slapped with a historic fine of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. The fine was imposed due to Meta’s mishandling of user data and its continued transfer of data to the United States in violation of an EU court ruling, which invalidated the EU-US data transfer pact.

This fine surpasses the previous record privacy fine given to Amazon by Luxembourg. Meta plans to appeal the ruling and seek a stay of the suspension. The company has said that it expected a new data transfer agreement to be in place before suspending transfers of EU citizens’ personal data to the United States. However, privacy campaigners and experts express doubts about the effectiveness of relying on the new agreement. 

The Irish regulator, as the primary regulatory authority for numerous top global technology companies based in Ireland, has warned that the suspension order could set a precedent for other firms. In addition, Meta has been fined a total of 2.5 billion euros for violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is currently facing 10 other investigations by the Irish authority.