EU regulators fine Meta $470 million over lack of transparency in data collection

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FILE – Facebook’s Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2021. Facebook says it has identified and stopped a sprawling network of fake accounts that spread Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine throughout Western Europe. Facebook parent company Meta says the network created 60 websites that mimicked legitimate news organizations but parroted Russian talking points about Ukraine. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File) Tony Avelar/AP

EU regulators fine Meta $470 million over lack of transparency in data collection

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European regulators fined Facebook’s parent company Meta hundreds of millions of dollars for its failure to inform users about its data collection practices.

The Data Protection Commission, the European Union’s privacy regulator, announced on Wednesday that it was fining Meta 210 million euros ($253 million) for its data collection practices on Facebook and 190 million pounds ($229 million) for similar practices at Instagram.

“In breach of its obligations in relation to transparency, information in relation to the legal basis relied on by was not clearly outlined to users, with the result that users had insufficient clarity as to what processing operations were being carried out on their personal data,” the regulatory agency concluded.


The complaint behind the fines arose after the EU passed its General Data Protection Regulation, a law that enabled additional privacy and security protections for European residents, in 2018. While Meta had adapted its terms of service to match Europe’s new security laws, the DPC found that Meta failed to be transparent about its data collection practices and forced users to consent to data collection via its terms of service without being fully aware or able to abstain from the practices.

The company was told it has three months to comply with the ruling and to adjust its terms accordingly.

Meta responded to the announcement by stating that it “strongly disagrees” with the conclusion and intends to “appeal the substance of the decision” due to a lack of “regulatory clarity.”


Meta has been the target of the DPC for regulations for more than a year. The Big Tech giant has been fined by the DPC for more than $1 billion since the fall of 2021. This includes fines addressing Instagram’s handling of children’s data as well as its inability to stop hackers from stealing user data.

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