EU slaps Meta with record fine

The EU has hit Facebook parent company Meta with a record fine of 1.2 billion euros for fowarding user data to the US. The responsible regulator, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, ruled that the practice violates the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). What are the implications of the judgment?

Zeit Online (DE) /

European rules making an impact

The decision shows how important European regulations are for a better Internet, Zeit Online comments:

“We in Europe cannot influence what the US government demands of US companies. But we can determine which rules apply here. Thanks to regulations like the GDPR, Europe can influence the business practices of large tech companies. This can better protect the personal information of people in Europe — regardless of where the service they use is based. ... Meta has announced that it will appeal. Nevertheless the fine sends at least one signal: Europe does have the means to enforce its rules.”

Jakob von Lindern
Irish Independent (IE) /

A warning shot for all those who process data

The size of the fine is not the decisive factor, the Irish Independent points out:

“It may have been the highest ever sanction for violation of European privacy laws, but ... in an industry where colossal sums are made annually, such amounts could be regarded as a drop in the ocean. The ruling will not just affect Meta Ireland, however. It lays down a marker for the EU’s intentions on data transfers to the US, and so is a shot across the bows of other companies. ... The ruling will inevitably have knock-on affects for all firms involved in international transfer of personal data. ... Unfettered access to European’s personal information can never be permitted.”