Meta has been hit with a record fine by the EU for breaching GDPR data protection rules. The €1.2 billion (£1.04 billion) fine follows an investigation into Facebook data being transferred to the US from the EU. The social media giant intends to appeal.
Explaining the fine, Andrea Jelinek, chair of the European Data Protection Board said:
The EDPB found that Meta IE’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.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) took the lead in conducting the investigation. Meta’s European headquarters are in Dublin. The EDPB issued a Binding Decision about Meta’s Facebook data transfers last month.
In a lengthy response for Meta, Sir Nick Clegg, president, global affairs and Jennifer Newstead, chief legal officer, wrote:
Without the ability to transfer data across borders, the internet risks being carved up into national and regional silos, restricting the global economy and leaving citizens in different countries unable to access many of the shared services we have come to rely on. That’s why providing a sound legal basis for the transfer of data between the EU and the US has been a political priority on both sides of the Atlantic for many years.
The execs branded the decision as “flawed, unjustified” and said it “sets a dangerous precedent for the countless other companies transferring data between the EU and US.”