EU Hits Instagram With $400M Fine for Violating Kids’ Privacy
Instagram faces a €405 million ($403 million) fine from the Irish Data Protection Commission for alleged breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The DPC issued the sanctions following a two-year investigation into allegations that Instagram violated children’s privacy by publishing the email addresses and phone numbers of 13- to 17-year-olds First reported by Politico(opens in new window).
The Irish DPC confirmed the fine in an email to PCMag and said “full details of the decision” will be announced next week.
However, Meta believes it has come a long way in protecting young people on Instagram over the past year and a half. A company spokesperson said in an emailed statement: “This investigation focused on legacy settings we updated over a year ago, and since then we’ve released a number of new features to help keep teens safe and their information private. ”
That includes suspending its teenage social network spinoff, rolling out more parental monitoring tools, and testing new ways to verify the age of users.
“Anyone under 18 who joins Instagram will automatically have their account set to private, so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t message teens who don’t follow them,” the company said. The tech giant continued. “During their investigation, we have fully engaged with the DPC and we are carefully reviewing their final decision.”
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Meta’s third GDPR fine against Irish regulators is also the second-highest fee under EU regulation – which came into effect in 2018 and aims to strengthen individuals’ control and rights over their personal data.Amazon is currently at the top of the list, last year occur(opens in new window) 746 million euros ($743 million) fined for non-compliance with EU privacy rules.
The DPC had previously slapped the WhatsApp(opens in new window) (225 million euros in 2021) and Facebook(opens in new window) (€17 million in March). According to Politico, the Irish DPC has conducted at least six other investigations into Meta-owned companies.
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