In what can be seen as a violation of privacy laws over the failure to prevent millions of Facebook users' data from being scraped and dumped online, Meta has been imposed with a vast fine running into €265 million.
The decision to impose a penalty comes in the wake of a leak that exposed the personal data of millions of Facebook users including phone numbers, birthdates, email addresses, and location information like check-ins.
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), an independent authority in Ireland responsible for upholding the fundamental right of individuals, had claimed that the company (Meta) failed to comply with GDPR obligations of data protection in April last year. This resulted in the leak of 533 million Facebook users' data, which could have been easily exploited by cybercriminals.
Following the incident, Ireland’s privacy watchdog today announced the fine. Its decision was formally adopted last Friday after consultation with the EU’s various national data protection regulators.
In a case similar to the one mentioned above, the Data Protection Commission fined WhatsApp with an amount of €225 million for not providing details of how it shares European Union users' data with Facebook.
It is reported that with a span of just 18 months, Meta has paid nearly €1 billion in fines. Google too had to pay the largest privacy settlement over a location tracking dispute.