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Meta fined $1.3 billion for user data misuse

Meta has been fined $1.3 billion by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for improper use of user data. 

According to the regulators, Meta transferred user data from the EU to the US without permission and without having the correct safeguarding procedures in place. The infringements are said to have taken place since 2020 when GDPR rules were tightened to offer more protection for consumers. 

As a direct result of these infringements, Meta has been fined $1.3 billion, the largest fine of its kind in history. 

The EDPU detailed that the scale of the data misuse influenced their decision to impose such a hefty fine, with Meta accused of putting millions of European users’ privacy and security at risk. 

Furthermore, Meta has been instructed to review and update its data handling policies to ensure they meet GDPR standards. Failure to do so could see Meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram suspended in the EU. 

Meta systems and procedures for handling user data have been met with much criticism, and regulators maintain that they are incompatible with current EU legislation. 

Meta has confirmed that it will appeal the decision, asserting that the free transfer of data between countries is integral to how the internet functions and is necessary in today’s increasingly interconnected world. 

Meta went on to state that it has been open to working with regulators in the EU to develop a new data privacy framework. However, the company claim that being fined $1.3 billion indicates the EDPB’s unwillingness to cooperate.

It’s been a difficult 12 months for Meta. The company has been forced to downsize, culling thousands of jobs, while revenue losses have spooked investors and stakeholders. 

This latest fine is certain to hurt the company further, and Meta will need to urgently review how it manages user data to avoid any further regulatory penalties. 

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