Being the most successful social network on Earth won’t make you run away from huge fines, and we just got the proof. In a groundbreaking move, the European Union (EU) has slapped Meta, the parent company of Facebook, with an incredible €1.2 billion fine for the company’s data transfer practices, as Engadget reveals.
Following an extensive investigation, EU officials concluded that the habit of Meta of moving EU citizens’ data to US-based servers violated the EU’s crucial digital privacy regulations. The Data Protection Commission of Ireland emphasized that the attempts of Meta to address legal concerns fell short of safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals within the Union.
This development marks yet another chapter in a long-standing saga examining how Big Tech handles the private data of EU citizens. European privacy laws, which prioritize individual rights, are deemed more robust than their American counterparts. However, global tech giants can effortlessly transfer data between servers worldwide, potentially exposing EU citizens’ information to less stringent privacy regulations in the US, thereby opening the door to unnecessary surveillance.
In a recent blog post, Nick Clegg, the president of global affairs of Meta, and Jennifer Newstead, the chief legal officer at the company, stated:
We are appealing these decisions and will immediately seek a stay with the courts who can pause the implementation deadlines, given the harm that these orders would cause, including to the millions of people who use Facebook every day.
Stay tuned for more news on the subject, as surely it’s only a matter of time until we’ll find out more!