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22 May 2023

Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch,
Núcleo Jornlismo

Meta fined a record €1.2 billion for violating GDPR and putting users' privacy rights at risk

Brett Jordan, Unsplash

"Meta ordered to suspend Facebook EU data flows as it’s hit with record €1.2BN privacy fine under GDPR", 22 May 2023.

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has been hit with a formal suspension order requiring it to stop exporting European Union user data to the US for processing.

Today the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) announced that Meta has been fined €1.2 billion (close to $1.3BN) — which the Board confirmed is the largest fine ever issued under the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)...

...Meta’s sanction is for breaching conditions set out in the pan-EU regulation governing transfers of personal data to so-called third countries (in this case the US) without ensuring adequate protections for people’s information...

...In a press release announcing today’s decision the EDPB’s chair, Andrea Jelinek, said:

The EDPB found that Meta IE’s [Ireland’s] infringement is very serious since it concerns transfers that are systematic, repetitive and continuous. Facebook has millions of users in Europe, so the volume of personal data transferred is massive. The unprecedented fine is a strong signal to organisations that serious infringements have far-reaching consequences.

Meta quickly put out a blog post with its response to the suspension order in which it confirmed it will appeal — dubbing the fine “unjustified and unnecessary”. It also sought to blame the issue on a conflict between EU and US law, rather than its own privacy practices, with Nick Clegg, president, global affairs, and Jennifer Newstead, chief legal officer, writing:

We are appealing these decisions and will immediately seek a stay with the courts who can pause the implementation deadlines, given the harm that these orders would cause, including to the millions of people who use Facebook every day.

Back in April the adtech giant warned investors that around 10% of its global ad revenue would be at risk were an EU data flows suspension to actually be implemented...