Meta Slapped With A 1.2 Billion Euro Fine By The EU Over Data Transfers
Meta, one of the leading tech companies in the US, is facing a €1.2 billion fine over its failure to comply with the privacy rulebook for the EU. The Irish Data Protection Commission said that Meta failed to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after it transferred a wide range of personal data belonging to European Facebook users to the US while failing to protect them from the surveillance practices in Washington.
Meta Faces A 1.2 Billion Euro Fine
The fine in question is the largest that has ever been imposed under the GDPR privacy law. It has also been imposed on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the enforcement of this law on May 25.
Amazon was also previously fined by regulators in Luxembourg for €746 million. The Irish regulator has also raised its alarm against Meta’s platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, of between €405 million and €225 million over the past two years.
The Irish regulators said that Meta used a legal tool used as the standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to transfer data to the United States. However, while transferring this data, Meta failed to address the risks that lay with the fundamental rights and freedoms of its users based in Europe. It also raised a landmark ruling from a top court in the EU.
The European Court of Justice also made a ruling against a data flows agreement between the EU and the US known as the Privacy Shield. There were fears that surveillance practices used by US intelligence could compromise the privacy of data belonging to EU users.
While giving this judgment, a top court in the EU tightened the requirements to use SCCs, which is also another popular legal tool that is used by companies to transfer personal information to the US.
Meta Struggles With Data Flow Agreement Deals In The EU
Meta, like most global companies, was heavily reliant on their legal structures, with European and US officials struggling to gather new data flow agreement deals. The US tech giant also lacks the proper legal mechanisms to transfer its personal data, which explains the hefty fines charged by regulators across the EU.
Despite the regulatory hurdles facing tech giants handling operations in multiple countries, data flow arrangements are still a priority. The EU and the US are in the final stages of a new data flow deal that could be launched between July and October. Meta has an October 12 deadline to stop its reliance on SCCs during these transfers.
The US tech giant has also previously issued a warning saying that it could be forced to stop working with SCCs. It would halt any further cooperation until there was an appropriate data flow agreement that is in place. As such, if these alternatives are not put in place, it could result in the company shutting down services such as Facebook and Instagram in Europe.