Meta Platforms faced further woe in Europe as the regulator overseeing its operations in the region imposed a €1.2 billion fine for breaches of European Union laws covering data protection, reportedly the bloc’s highest such penalty to-date.
The Republic of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) targeted Meta Platforms’ methods for transferring details of Facebook users from Europe to the US. The regulator commenced its investigation in 2020, but the process was stalled by a legal challenge until early 2021.
Domestic news outlet RTE noted the fine far exceeds a €746 million penalty European regulators imposed on Amazon in 2021. It said Meta Platforms plans to appeal the decision.
Commissioner for data protection Helen Dixon stated in her decision that Meta Platforms’ had failed to “guarantee a level of protection” equal to European law, referring in particular to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The DPC ordered a halt on data transfers until Meta Platforms brings “its processing operations into compliance” with regional rules by “ceasing the unlawful processing, including storage, in the US of personal data of” users in the European Economic Area.
Meta Platforms falls under the DPC’s jurisdiction because its European headquarters are located in Dublin.