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November 28, 2022
Facebook has been hit with a fine totaling 265 million euro (US $277 million) in Ireland related to personal data that was made available online.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) imposed the fine. In addition, the Commission is requiring a range of corrective measures.
The DPC began its investigation in April, after media reports into the discovery of a collated data set of Facebook personal data became available on the internet. The scope of the inquiry concerned an examination and assessment of Facebook Search, Facebook Messenger Contact Importer and Instagram Contact Importer tools in relation to processing carried out by Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (MPIL) between May 2018 and September 2019.
The material issues in this inquiry concerned questions of compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirement for data protection. The DPC examined the implementation of technical and organizational measures pursuant to GDPR.
The investigation included the cooperation of all other data protection supervisory authorities within the European Union. Those supervisory authorities agreed with DPC’s decision.
The decision imposed a reprimand. It also requires MPIL to bring its processing into compliance within a particular time frame.
Meta sent us the following statement:
“Protecting the privacy and security of people’s data is fundamental to how our business works. That’s why we have cooperated fully with the DPC on this important issue. We made changes to our systems during the time in question, including removing the ability to scrape our features in this way using phone numbers. Unauthorized data scraping is unacceptable and against our rules. And we will continue working with our peers on this industry challenge. We are reviewing this decision carefully.”
In September, DPC imposed a record fine of 405 million euros (US $420 million) on Facebook subsidiary Instagram after investigating its handling of children’s data. Meta plans to appeal that fine.
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