Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook, has been slapped with a record €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) fine by its lead privacy regulator in the European Union, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC). The penalty was imposed for the company’s handling of user information, and Meta has been given a five-month deadline to halt the transfer of user data to the United States.
This decision marks the latest development in ongoing tensions between large tech companies and European regulators, who have long expressed concerns over the data privacy practices employed by these companies.
The fine imposed on Meta concerned the company’s continued transfer of personal user data. As highlighted by the DPC, such actions constitute a violation of European data protection regulations. The amount of the fine surpassed the previous record of €746 million imposed by Luxembourg on Amazon.com Inc. in 2021.
In response to the fine, Meta issued a statement assuring that it “takes its privacy and data protection commitments seriously” and is “working to understand and comply with all legal requirements.”
The decision to fine Meta forms part of broader tensions between tech companies and regulators in the EU, who have been tightening their approach to personal data protection and online privacy. This latest decision will undoubtedly accelerate the debate around the appropriate management of personal data by tech companies and the need for user privacy protection in the digital age.