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Irish regulator fines Facebook for privacy law violations

The Data Protection Commission has investigated Meta for a number of data and privacy issues and fined the company's WhatsApp communications service in September for another GDPR violation.

(AP) — Ireland's privacy watchdog has fined Facebook's parent company, Meta, 17 million euros, or about $19 million, for violating Europe's privacy law.

The regulator, the Data Protection Commission, has been investigating how Meta Platforms Inc. complied with the requirements of the law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation, in how it handled personal data in twelve data breach notifications between June and December 2018.

The agency said Tuesday that it found that Meta didn't have the right measures in place to show it could protect EU users' data.

The March 1, 2022, episode of our podcast Sidebar examines the right to be forgotten in the EU, which forces search engines, media outlets and others to comply with takedown requests. Is it reasonable? Would it work in the U.S.?

“This fine is about record keeping practices from 2018 that we have since updated, not a failure to protect people’s information,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We take our obligations under the GDPR seriously, and will carefully consider this decision as our processes continue to evolve.”

Under GDPR, the Irish regulator leads cross-border data privacy cases for big tech companies that have their European headquarters in Dublin. It has investigated Meta for a number of data and privacy issues and fined the company's WhatsApp communications service 225 million euros, or $267 million at the time, in September, for another GDPR violation.

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