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Personal data: Meta fined a record $1.8 billion in Europe

Meta on Monday was fined a record $1.8 billion (€1.2 billion) by the Irish regulator for breaching European data protection rules (GDPR) through its social network Facebook.

Meta, which intends to appeal, has been found guilty of “continuing to transfer personal data” of users from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the United States in breach of European rules on the matter, referred to in its decision by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which operates On behalf of the European Union.

Meta must also “suspend any transfer of personal data to the United States within five months” of notification of this decision and must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) within six months, the DPC added.

The data protection department told AFP that this penalty, the highest imposed by a data protection regulator in Europe, is the result of an investigation that began in 2020.

Meta called the fine “unjustified and unnecessary” and will seek legal action to suspend it, the social media giant responded immediately Monday in a statement sent to AFP.

“Thousands of companies and organizations depend on the ability to transfer data between the EU and the US,” and “there is a fundamental rights conflict between US government rules on data access and European privacy rights,” the California giant continued.

Meta hopes that over the summer, we will see the United States and the European Union adopt a new legal framework for the transfer of personal data, following an initial agreement adopted last year.

This is the third fine imposed on Meta since the beginning of the year in the European Union, and the fourth in six months.

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In January, the DPC severely penalized the group to pay nearly 400 million euros for offenses using personal data for advertising purposes targeting Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, and then, in March, to 5.5 million euros for violating the General Data Protection Regulation. WhatsApp message.

Since then, Meta has committed to changing its terms of use in Europe to be able to continue to collect and process personal data of its European users.

These sanctions come in the context of strengthening judicial controls and procedures in the European Union, but also in the United States, against GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple), and the measures taken recently against the Chinese giant TikTok.

In 2021, Amazon in particular was fined €746 million in Luxembourg for non-compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).