Meta fined a record $1.3 billion over EU user data transfers to the U.S.

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Guests take photographs in entrance of the Meta signal at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, December 29, 2022.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Company | Getty Pictures

Meta has been fined a report 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) by European privateness regulators over the switch of EU person knowledge to the U.S.

The choice hyperlinks again to a case introduced by Australian privateness campaigner Max Schrems who argued that the framework for transferring EU citizen knowledge to America didn’t defend Europeans from U.S. surveillance.

A number of mechanisms to legally switch private knowledge between the U.S. and the EU have been contested. The newest such iteration, Privateness Defend, was struck down by the European Courtroom of Justice, the EU’s prime court docket, in 2020.

The Irish Information Safety Fee that abroad Meta operations within the EU alleged that the corporate infringed the bloc’s Basic Information Safety Regulation (GDPR) when it continued to ship the private knowledge of European residents to the usdespite the 2020 European court docket ruling.

GDPR is the EU’s landmark knowledge safety regulation that governs corporations energetic within the bloc. It got here into impact in 2018.

Meta used a mechanism referred to as normal contractual clauses to switch private knowledge out and in of the EU. This was not blocked by any court docket of the EU. The Irish knowledge watchdog mentioned that the clauses had been adopted by the European Fee, the EU’s govt arm, along with different measures applied by Meta. Nevertheless, the regulator mentioned these preparations “didn’t handle the dangers to the elemental rights and freedoms of information topics that had been recognized” by the European Courtroom of Justice.

Eire’s Information Safety Fee additionally instructed Meta to “droop any future switch of private knowledge to the US inside the interval of 5 months” from the choice.

The 1.2 billion euro punishment for Meta is the very best any firm has ever been fined for breaching GDPR. The earlier largest effective was a 746 million euros cost for e-commerce large Amazon for breaching GDPR in 2021.

Fb mentioned it could enchantment the choice and the effective.

The Meta case will seemingly put focus again on the EU and Washington’s push to get a brand new knowledge switch mechanism agreed. The U.S. and EU final 12 months “in principle” agreed to a new framework for cross-border data transfers. Nevertheless, the brand new pact has not but come into impact.


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