Ireland has fined Meta, Facebook’s parent company, €390 million for violating online privacy.

Lawmakers have banned companies from forcing European users to consent to personalized ads based on their online activity.

The Irish Data Protection Commission imposed two fines totaling €390 million in its ruling in two cases that would change Meta’s business model, which targets users to ads based on what they do online.

The commission fined Mita approximately 210 million euros for violating EU data privacy rules on Facebook and another 180 million euros for violations related to Instagram.

This is the latest punishment imposed by the Meta committee for data breaches, following four other fines imposed on the company since 2021, totaling more than 900 million euros.

The decision was made due to complaints filed in May 2018 when the block’s data privacy regulations went into effect.

The committee initially ruled in Meta’s favour, but reversed its position after sending the draft decision to EU data protection regulators, most of whom protested against it.

In its final decision, the Irish watchdog stated that Meta is not authorized to rely on the legal basis of the contract to run behavioral ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Meta responded in a statement by saying, “We strongly believe that our approach respects data privacy law and as such we are disappointed by these decisions and intend to appeal the content of the rulings and penalties.”

Previously, Meta relied on obtaining informed consent from users to process their personal data to provide them with personalized advertising, and after the Data Privacy Protection Act came into force, the company changed the legal basis under which it works with user data to add the phrase to the terms of use and advertising that obliges users to first consent to the use of their data, which violates European Union privacy laws.

Source: AB

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