Facebook is set to be slammed by the Irish regulator as it prepares to punish the social media giant with a €746 million fine for mishandling user information, reports The Guardian.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, acting as the primary privacy regulator for Facebook and Meta in the EU, is anticipated to halt data transfers from Facebook’s European users to the United States with its decision.
The fine and ruling, expected to be confirmed on Monday, will establish a new record for violating the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), surpassing the €746 million penalty imposed on Amazon by Luxembourg in 2021.
The parent company of Facebook is expected to get a chance to appeal against the punishment in the anticipated grace period.
Inadequate data handling
Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems is the one who brought the legal challenge. The ruling addresses concerns raised by Edward Snowden’s revelations, indicating that European users’ data is not adequately protected from US intelligence agencies during transfers across the Atlantic.
Meta’s policy chief, Nick Clegg, said that suspending data transfers based on standard contractual clauses (SCCs) could have a “far-reaching effect on businesses that rely on SCCs and on the online services that many people and businesses rely on,” back in 2020.
— Dr Stuart Woolley (@FractalDoctor) May 21, 2023
In a recent quarterly report the company stated that without SCCs or “other alternative means of data transfers,” it would “likely be unable to offer a number of its most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”
Potential compensation for user data usage
Over on Reddit, the public has been reacting to the news and raising the possibility of receiving compensation.
“Do I get some of this money if they used my information?” asked one Redditor.
Another user responded, “You’ll see a little bit all over. It’s going into EU coffers, so it will fund EU projects, I imagine.”
The conversation explored the idea that provisioning funds for EU projects might be more worthwhile than distributing small amounts to individuals.
“Which, if spent well, is more worthwhile than just giving people £1.67 or whatever tiny amount,” stated one contributor.
The comment thread also touched upon the revenue Facebook generates from user profiles and the varying advertising value based on different regions.
Opinions expressed in the Reddit thread highlight the ongoing debate surrounding Facebook’s data handling practices and the financial implications for both the company and its users.