Sunday, May 28, 2023|
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Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. was hit by a record 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) European Union privacy fine and given a deadline to stop shipping users’ data to the US after regulators said it failed to protect personal information from the American security services.
The social network giant’s continued data transfers to the US didn’t address “the risks to the fundamental rights and freedoms” of people whose data was being transfered across the Atlantic, the Irish Data Protection Commission said on Monday. On top of the fine, which eclipses a 746 million euros EU privacy penalty previously doled out to Amazon.com Inc., Meta was given five months to “suspend any future transfer of personal data to the US” and six months to stop “the unlawful processing, including storage, in the US” of transferred personal EU data.
Shares in Meta were down 1% to $243.15 in pre-market trading.
The ban on data transfers was widely expected and once prompted the US firm to threaten a total withdrawal from the EU. Still, the likely impact has now been muted by the transition phase and the prospect of a new EU-US data flows agreement that could already be operational by the middle of this year.
Monday’s decision is the latest round in a long-running saga that eventually saw Facebook and thousands of other companies plunged into a legal vacuum. In 2020, the EU’s top court annulled an EU-US pact regulating transatlantic data flows over fears citizens’ data wasn’t safe once it arrived on US servers.
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