Speed Reads

Data privacy drama

EU regulators fine Meta a record-breaking $1.3B for data privacy violations

European Union regulators fined Meta a "record-breaking" €1.2 billion (roughly $1.3 billion) for transferring personal data from Facebook's EU users to servers in the United States, CNN reported. 

Meta had been warned previously about transferring the data over concerns of American spy agencies. The European Data Protection Board said the fine followed an inquiry into Facebook by the Irish Data Protection Commission, which regulates Meta's operations in Europe. The company has also been ordered to stop processing the personal data of EU users in the U.S. within six months. The ruling only applies to Facebook and not Meta's other platforms, Instagram and WhatsApp. 

The tech giant, worth around $630 billion, said it plans to appeal the ruling. In a statement released Monday, Nick Clegg, Meta's president of global affairs, and Jennifer Newstead, its chief legal officer, said the ruling is "flawed, unjustified, and sets a dangerous precedent" for other companies that transfer data between the U.S. and EU.

"At a time where the internet is fracturing under pressure from authoritarian regimes, like-minded democracies should work together to promote and defend the idea of the open internet," the pair added. 

The ruling, which constitutes the largest fine ever under the General Data Protection Regulation, "has the potential to bruise Facebook's business in Europe, particularly if it affects the company's ability to target ads," The New York Times wrote.  

Meta said EU and U.S. policymakers were on a "clear path" to create a new transatlantic Data Privacy Framework they hope will resolve privacy law conflicts. The issue has kept tech businesses in limbo since a European high court banned the Privacy Shield agreement, "which about 5,000 companies relied on for transferring information across borders," CNN added.