Meta hit with record €1.2bn fine over EU data rules

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META FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Paley Center in New York, Oct. 25, 2019. Zuckerberg competed in his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament this past weekend, taking home two medals. Zuckerberg took part in the BJJ Tour competition on Saturday, May 6, 2023 in Woodside, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

Meta (META) has received a record €1.2bn (£1.04bn) fine for failing to adhere to the European Union's privacy regulations.

The Irish Data Protection Commission announced on Monday that Meta violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), claiming the tech firm transferred extensive personal information of European Facebook users to the US without adequate safeguards against US data surveillance.

This penalty is the heftiest GDPR violation fine issued by the EU to date, according to Reuters.

Over the past two years tech firms such as Amazon (AMZN) and Meta have been fined for data protection breaches.

Amazon was fined €746m by Luxembourg, while Meta's social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, have been hit with four fines by the Irish regulator, ranging from €225m to €405m.

The Irish regulator highlighted that Meta's use of a legal instrument, known as standard contractual clauses (SCCs), for transferring data to the US, "did not address the risks to the fundamental rights and freedoms" of EU citizens.

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The EU regulator is also expected to order Meta to cease employing "complex legal instruments" for transferring EU data to the US.

In 2020, the European Court of Justice decreed that a data transfer agreement between the EU and the US was void, raising issues regarding surveillance.

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