Facebook parent company Meta received a record-breaking $1.3 billion fine in Europe (€1.2 billion) following a privacy violation that regulators have been investigating for a decade. It involves the transfer of Facebook data belonging to European Union users to the US. The EU started looking into the company's data transfer practices in 2013, following the Edward Snowden revelations.
The EU action comes just months ahead of a new planned data transfer deal between the US and the EU. Unsurprisingly, Meta is contesting the fine.
[...] The EU worries that the Facebook data transfers in question expose its citizens to privacy violations and violate GDPR. The data transfers were protected by a US-EU pact called the Privacy Shield. But the EU's top courts found that the pact did not actually shield EU citizens. US surveillance programs could still collect data.
According to the new ruling, Meta also has to stop transferring EU data to the US.
[...] Schrems also said he expects Meta to appeal the decision but that a win for the company in the case is unlikely. "Past violations cannot be overcome by a new EU-US deal. Meta can at best delay the payment of the fine for a bit."
Meta, of course, is in a position where it can afford to pay such hefty privacy fines. "A billion-euro parking ticket is of no consequence to a company that earns many more billions by parking illegally," Johnny Ryan told The Guardian. Ryan is a senior fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
[...] Fine and restrictions aside, Meta will soon be able to transfer user data to the US without having to worry about fines like this. The EU and the US are working on a new deal to cover such data transfers. That deal could be in place by October. Still, the new agreement can't protect the company from past offenses.
(Score: 3, Touché) by Freeman on Thursday May 25, @01:48PM
Couldn't have happened to a better company. Facebook has been a major player in hoovering up every scrap of private data possible. Would be nice, if this actually stuck, too. Then again, this will likely only be helpful for those in the EU. Much better to treat them special than to give up on all that juicy data.
Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"