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    EU Authorities Fine Meta $1.3 Billion For Transfer Of Data To U.S.

    May 22, 2023
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    Facebook's parent company, Meta Platforms, has been slapped with a record 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) fine by European Union privacy authorities. The fine comes as punishment for the tech company sending EU data to the U.S. The fine also comes with a deadline by which the organization will have to cease all personal data transfers to the U.S.

    The infraction was first discovered by privacy watchdog, the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC), which revealed that Meta had transferred the personal data of Europeans to the U.S. without protecting them from "surveillance programmes" run by the U.S. government, which breached the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    According to the watchdog, the data transfers did not address "the risks to the fundamental rights and freedoms" of Meta's European users, which resulted in a fine of 1.2 billion euros. The fine surpassed the 746 million euro fine that Amazon received from the EU regarding its own privacy breaches.

    The IDPC also said that Meta must "suspend any future transfer of personal data to the U.S." and has roughly 6 months to stop "the unlawful processing, including storage, in the U.S." of data for its European users, according to a Zerohedge report.

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    According to Bloomberg, "The ban on data transfers was widely expected and once prompted the U.S. firm to threaten a total withdrawal from the EU."

    Several years ago an attempt was made to create a method to transfer data from the EU to the U.S. legally but it was struck down by a European court, citing concern that U.S. spy agencies could still have access to the information.

    The GDPR took effect in 2018 and has regulated how tech companies handle user data. To date, the largest GDPR privacy fines for the past 5 years have come from some of the biggest tech companies including Meta, Amazon, and Google.

    Meta responded to the fines this week calling them "unjustified and unnecessary." The conglomerate also announced that it plans to appeal the ruling.

    Meta's President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg said, "Without the ability to transfer data across borders, the internet risks being carved up into national and regional silos, restricting the global economy and leaving citizens in different countries unable to access many of the shared services we have come to rely on."



    Jen Snow

    Jen Snow is a former paralegal turned freelance writer who has a passion for foreign affairs. When not writing, she can be found curled up with her dog and a good book or outside playing in the Florida sun.
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