Meta Slapped with $1.3 Billion Fine by EU for Illegal Data Transfers
The European Union (EU) charged the owner of Facebook, Meta, with a record-breaking €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for violating data transfer rules.
After conducting an inquiry, authorities identified that Meta was in violation of EU digital privacy laws when it transferred the data of EU people to US servers.
The Data Protection Commission of Ireland stated that Meta’s attempts to address legal concerns did not adequately protect the rights and freedoms of individuals in the EU.
The major tech companies with global server networks can easily move data between servers. Compared to American privacy laws, European privacy laws are more restrictive and place more emphasis on individual rights.
Therefore, as US privacy regulations are less strict than those in the EU, this could result in the unneeded surveillance of EU residents.
Thanks to the privacy activist Max Schrems, the European Union has been tackling the issue of data transfers. Previous agreements like the Safe Harbor and EU-US Privacy Shield were found insufficient and invalid by the European Court of Justice.
Big tech companies like Facebook argued that their operations would be impacted without these data transfers.
Followed by negotiations between the EU and the US, the Irish Data Protection Commission instructed Meta to halt future data transfers of EU citizens to the US within five months and ensure compliance with GDPR, including data processing on US servers, within six months.
Sir Nick Clegg, the president of global affairs at Meta, expressed disapproval and stated that he would be appealing the fine. He highlights the significance of international data flows and many other companies also rely on the same legal mechanism when providing European services.