This is the latest in a series of sanctions that the Irish regulator has imposed on Meta over the past two years. (Photo: Canadian Press)
LONDON — Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has been fined 265 million euros ($370 million) for violating European Union (EU) data privacy rules.
The Irish Data Protection Commission has indicated that the Meta platforms violate sections of the EU regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which require technical and organizational measures to protect user data.
Last year, an Irish regulator launched an investigation into reports that data on more than 533 million users were available online. According to some media reports, the data was found on a website for hackers and included names, Facebook IDs, phone numbers, locations, dates of birth and email addresses of people from more than 100 countries.
Meta said the data was “copied” from Facebook with tools designed to help people find their friends by phone numbers through search and import contacts features. The commission said it was investigating these copies, which were made between May 2018 and September 2019.
The company said it was “fully cooperating” with the Irish regulator.
“We have made changes to our systems during the time period under review,” Meta said in a statement. Unauthorized copying of data is unacceptable and against our policy.”
The commission said that along with the fine, it also imposed “a number of remedial measures” on Meta that were not specified.
This is the latest in a series of sanctions that the Irish regulator has imposed on Meta over the past two years.
The company, based in Menlo Park, California, has its European headquarters in Dublin, making the Irish authority its main privacy regulator under the EU General Data Protection Regulation in a system called a single window.
In September, an Irish regulator fined Meta’s Instagram 405 million euros ($565 million) after it found the platform mishandled teens’ personal information. In March, Meta was fined 17 million euros ($24 million) for handling a dozen data breach notifications.
Last year, the watchdog fined the Meta messaging service WhatsApp 225 million euros ($314 million) for violating rules about sharing personal data with other Meta companies.