The American social media giant Meta, parent company of Facebook, was fined a heavy 265 million euros by the Irish regulator (DPC) on behalf of the European Union, for not having sufficiently protected the data of its users, indicates the DPC this Monday, November 28.
“The Data Protection Commission (DPC) announces […] the conclusion of an investigation into Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (MPIL)”a subsidiary of Meta and “body that controls the data of the social network Facebook, imposing a fine of 265 million euros and a series of corrective measures”according to a press release on Monday.
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The DPC announced in April 2021 the opening of an investigation targeting Facebook on behalf of the European Union, after the revelation of a hacking by hackers of the data of more than 530 million users dating back to 2019. survey focused on the applications « Facebook Search, Facebook Messenger Contact Importer and Instagram Contact Importer […] between May 25, 2018 and September 2019 »and wanted to know if Meta had protected the data of its users sufficiently with regard to European regulations.
Facebook has its European headquarters in Ireland and so it falls to the Irish regulator to lead the investigation for the EU. The decision to impose a fine on Meta and its subsidiaries concerned was taken on Friday 25 November following findings “breaches of European regulations (GDPR)”, details the DPC. So she issued a “order requesting a series of corrective actions from MPIL” and an administrative fine.
The hack used a method known as “scraping” Facebook profiles via software that mimics the network’s functionality that helps members easily find friends, scraping contact lists.
“Protecting people’s personal data is critical to how our business operates”reacted a spokesperson for Meta. “That is why we have fully cooperated with the Data Protection Commission on this important matter. We have made changes to our systems”he added.
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The GDPR (European Data Protection Regulation), launched in 2018, gives more power to regulators to protect consumers against the domination of Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter, which, attracted by advantageous taxation, have chosen the Ireland as home base.
The regulation provides that regulators can impose a fine of up to 4% of the global turnover of these groups. In the case of Facebook, the hacked data in question was partly published on a hacker forum in early April, an action that is the result of“malicious actors”explained Facebook.
The European Union and certain member countries have multiplied in recent years the disputes with the American digital giants on the protection of personal data but also on taxation, or abuse of a dominant position, among others. In September, Instagram, which like Facebook is owned by Meta, was hit with a €405 million fine in the EU, again via the Irish regulator.