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Facebook parent Meta hit with €17 million data breach fine

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has hit Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, with a €17 million (£14.4 million) fine following investigations into 12 data breach notifications.

In a statement posted on its website, the Data Protection Commission said: “Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organisational measures which would enable it to readily demonstrate the security measures that it implemented in practice to protect EU users’ data.”

Meta and many other tech giants with their headquarters in the United States are subject to regulation in Ireland on account of basing their European Union operations in the country.

Last year, the Data Protection Commission was one of many data authorities to slap WhatsApp – another Meta company – with a data breach fine. The ruling in this case isn’t the end of the Commission’s dealings with Meta, either, as it several continuing investigations into other data breach incidents. In the past six months alone, Facebook users have seen their details exposed online and been urged to change their passwords following a separate incident. While Facebook took some steps in a positive direction for data protection by closing down its facial recognition system last year, it looks like it’ll be a long while before the company is off the radar of Ireland’s data authority, let alone others.

It isn’t yet known whether Meta will appeal the ruling and fine. Yahoo! News reported a Meta spokesperson as saying that the company would consider its response to the decision.

The spokesperson reportedly added: “This fine is about record-keeping practices from 2018 that we have since (been) updated, not a failure to protect people’s information.”

Image Credit: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com

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