Meta fined a record $1.3 billion over E.U. user data transfers to the U.S.

Meta has been fined a record 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) by European privateness regulators over the switch of European Union user data to the U.S.

The choice hyperlinks again to a case introduced by Austrian privateness campaigner Max Schrems who argued that the framework for transferring EU citizen data to America didn’t defend Europeans from U.S. surveillance.

Several mechanisms to legally switch private data between the U.S. and the EU have been contested. The newest such iteration, Privacy Shield, was struck down by the European Court of Justice, the EU’s high courtroom, in 2020.

The Irish Data Protection Commission that abroad Meta operations in the EU alleged that the firm infringed the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it continued to ship the private data of European residents to the U.S regardless of the 2020 European courtroom ruling.

GDPR is the EU’s landmark data safety regulation that governs corporations energetic in the bloc. It got here into impact in 2018.

Meta used a mechanism known as commonplace contractual clauses to switch private data out and in of the EU. This was not blocked by any courtroom of the EU. The Irish data watchdog stated that the clauses had been adopted by the European Commission, the EU’s government arm, along side different measures applied by Meta. However, the regulator stated these preparations “did not address the risks to the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects that were identified” by the European Court of Justice.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission additionally instructed Meta to “suspend any future transfer of personal data to the US within the period of five months” from the choice.

The 1.2 billion euro punishment for Meta is the highest any firm has ever been fined for breaching GDPR. The earlier largest high-quality was a 746 million euros cost for e-commerce large Amazon for breaching GDPR in 2021.

Meta stated it will attraction the choice and the high-quality.

“We are appealing these decisions and will immediately seek a stay with the courts who can pause the implementation deadlines, given the harm that these orders would cause, including to the millions of people who use Facebook every day,” Nick Clegg, Meta president of world affairs, and Jennifer Newstead, chief authorized officer at the firm, stated in a weblog put up on Monday.

The Meta case has put focus again on the EU and Washington’s push to get a new data switch mechanism agreed. The U.S. and EU final yr “in principle” agreed to a new framework for cross-border data transfers. However, the new pact has not but come into impact.

Meta is hoping that this EU-U.S. data privateness settlement is instated earlier than the Irish regulator’s deadlines are available place.

If the new framework “comes into effect before the implementation deadlines expire, our services can continue as they do today without any disruption or impact on users,” Clegg and Newstead stated.

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