Microsoft says it may pay a $425 million fine over alleged Linkedin privacy violations

LinkedIn Office Toronto

Microsoft may have to pay a pretty hefty fine to settle a case involving its Linkedin subsidiary. The company said this week that the fine could be as much as $425 million which will be noted in the current second quarter of 2023.

Reuters reports that in a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said the charge is due to an investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC). That inquiry was started way back in 2018, as the Ireland-based regulator looked into reports that the Linkedin business social network violated Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with targeted advertising.

Microsoft says the IDPC sent the company its preliminary decision about the fine in April. Right now, the IDPC has not yet made that final decision public. It added:

After review and analysis, the company would increase its existing reserve for the matter and, based on current exchange rates take a charge of approximately $425 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023.

Microsoft did say once the IDPC releases the final order, it will formerly dispute the fine.

The IDPC has been pretty busy lately. In late May, the regulatory group's investigation into Meta claimed that the company's Facebook servers did not have enough privacy safeguards in place to transfer personal data from its European servers to the US.

The group claims those actions violated the GDPR. That caused the European Union's Data Protection Board to slam Meta with a huge €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) fine. Meta was also told that it has until October 12, 2023, to suspend its data transfers. Meta says it will appeal this decision.

Linkedin has suffered earlier this year with a series of layoffs. They include some cuts that were due to Microsoft's plan to let go of 10,000 of its workers. Another round of layoffs was due to Linkedin shutting down its China-focused jobs app InCareer.

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