Meta was fined a record 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) by the European Union’s top privacy regulator for its management of user data and given five months to halt transmitting customers’ data to the US.
The sanction was enforced by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner when Meta continued to send data after an EU court judgment in 2020 nullified an EU-US data transfer agreement.
It exceeds the previous EU privacy penalties record of 746 million euros imposed on Amazon by Luxembourg in 2021.
In a statement, Meta stated that it will challenge the verdict, citing the “unjustified and unnecessary fine,” which it claims “sets a dangerous precedent for countless other companies.”
The social media giant maintained that it expected a new accord easing the secure flow of personal data from EU citizens to the US to be fully implemented before suspending transfers.
That means the company’s previous warning that a strike would force it to shut down Facebook services in Europe will not come true.
Meta said, “Without the ability to transfer data across borders, the internet risks being carved up into national and regional silos,”
According to the DPC, EU and US officials hoped in March that the new data protection framework, which was agreed upon by Brussels and Washington in March 2022, would be available by July.
Because many of the world’s biggest IT businesses have their European headquarters in Ireland, the Irish watchdog has stated that the suspension decision might set a precedent for other firms.
It has now penalised Meta a total of 2.5 billion euros for violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect in 2018.
The Irish regulator has fined Meta the most of any digital corporation and has opened ten other investigations into the social media group’s platforms.