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Google and Meta fined in South Korea for displaying targeted adverts without user consent

Google and Meta aren't exactly new to court cases and subsequent fines. Recently, the former was fined $60 million in Australia for misleading users about data collection while the Facebook firm was slapped with £50.5 million (~$58 million) penalty by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Now, both have been fined again, this time in South Korea.

South Korea flag with Google and Meta logos on the sides

Reuters has reported that both the firms have been fined for the same offense of collecting user behavioral data and then using it to show personalized advertisements by inferring their interests. The key claim made by a South Korean regulator is that all of this was done without clearly informing users that their data would be used in this way.

South Korea's Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) has fined Google 69.2 billion won ($50 million) whereas Meta has been handed a relatively smaller fine of 30.8 billion won ($22 million).

A Google spokesperson protested the fine, noting that:

We disagree with the PIPC's findings, and will be reviewing the full written decision once it's shared with us. We've always demonstrated our commitment to making ongoing updates that give users control and transparency, while providing the most helpful products possible. We remain committed to engaging with the PIPC to protect the privacy of South Korean users.

Meanwhile, Meta's representative is quoted as saying:

While we respect the commission's decision, we are confident that we work with our clients in a legally compliant way that meets the processes required by local regulations. As such, we do not agree with the commission's decision, and will be open to all options including seeking a ruling from the court.

It seems like both the firms will appeal the matter to a court rather than quietly accepting the fine. We will likely find out more in the coming days and weeks.

Source: Reuters

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