Zucked Up! Meta hit with record-breaking $1.3 billion fine over foreign Facebook data transfers

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The fine is the largest of its kind, and accompanies an order to stop data transfers to the US. The case stems back to 2013 and revelations about US mass surveillance.

(The Verge) Meta has been hit with a record-breaking $1.3 billion fine (€1.2 billion) by EU data regulators, and ordered to stop transferring the Facebook data of EU citizens to the US. EU courts believe such data transfers expose EU citizens to privacy violations — a complaint that stems back to 2013 and revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about US mass surveillance programs.

The ruling was made by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), which said that that the current legal framework for data transfers to the US “did not address the risks to the fundamental rights and freedoms” of Facebook’s EU users and violated GDPR. The fine exceeds the previous EU record of €746 million levied against Amazon in 2021 for similar privacy violations.

Transferring data to the US is critical for Meta’s vast ad-targeting operation, which relies on processing multiple streams of personal data from its users. Last year, Meta said it would be forced to consider shutting down Facebook and Instagram in the EU if it wasn’t able to send data back to the US; a warning EU politicians saw as an obvious threat. “Meta cannot just blackmail the EU into giving up its data protection standards,” replied EU lawmaker Axel Voss to…

Meta hit with record-breaking $1.3 billion fine over Facebook data transfers to the US – The Verge