Facebook has a 2.94 billion monthly active users and it is the world’s most popular social media, reaching 59% of social media users. Facebook is a gold mine of data, and nowadays, data is the new gold of the 21st century. Meta is under a very heavy responsibility to protect all their users’ data, but they failed to do so.
TechRadar reported that the multinational technology conglomerate was issued a data protection fine of EUR 265 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission for the company’s failure to safeguard the personal information of more than 500 million users, thus putting a vast number of individuals affected at substantially higher risk of crimes like identity theft in the future.
This penalty is in response to news reports that over 533 million Facebook users’ personal information, including phone numbers, birth dates, email addresses, and locations, had been compromised.
The regulator said Meta has violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligation for “Data Protection by Design and Default”. The regulator also forced Meta to “bring its processing into compliance by taking a range of specified remedial actions within a particular timeframe”.
In response to the news, Meta spokesperson said the company had implemented changes to its:
Systems during the time in question, including removing the ability to scrape our features in this way using phone numbers.
Unauthorized data scraping is unacceptable and against our rules and we will continue working with our peers on this industry challenge.Meta
This is not the first time that Meta has been hit with large fines by European Union regulators. The company has already been punished three times, and this is the fourth time; the total amount of fines levied against the company to date is around EUR 900 million.
Yesterday, we reported that nearly 500 million WhatsApp phone numbers are up for sale online. Looks like Meta is getting another round of penalties.