Ireland fines WhatsApp-parent Meta again: Here’s why

Meta has been fined again – this time for violating EU data protection regulations with its instant messaging platform WhatsApp. Ireland’s regulator has imposed a penalty of 5.5 million euros on the social media giant, according to multiple online reports.
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) found the group acted “in breach of its obligations in relation to transparency,” the watchdog said, adding that the company relied on an incorrect legal basis “for its processing of personal data for the purposes of service improvement and security. The DPC has given the Facebook-parent company six months to comply.
The Irish regulator also said that the recent fine was considerably less because of a 225 million euros fine imposed on WhatsApp for “breaches of this and other transparency obligations over the same period of time”.

What Meta has to say
“We strongly believe that the way the service operates is both technically and legally compliant. We disagree with the decision and we intend to appeal,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
It is to be noted that Meta announced earlier this month that it would appeal the January 4 decision against two of its other apps Facebook and Instagram. It said that the company will appeal the substance of the decision and also plan to challenge the size of the fines imposed.

Facebook, Instagram fines
In the beginning of this year, Ireland DPC fined Meta and asked to pay 390 million euros, 210 million euros for violating European Union privacy rules with Facebook’s practices and 180 million euros over similar violations with Instagram.
A fine imposed on the company might potentially put parts of its ad business at risk.
In 2018, both Facebook and Instagram released new terms of service that essentially allowed the company to process user data for target advertising. Complaints alleged that users were forced to accept the new guidelines, which is in violation of the privacy rules in the EU.

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