The penalty, imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, brings the fines that the regulator has imposed on Meta since last year to more than $900 million. In September, the same regulator fined the company roughly $400 million for its mistreatment of children’s data. In October last year, Irish authorities fined Meta, which was previously called Facebook, 225 million euros, or about $235 million, for violations related to its messaging service WhatsApp.
The accumulating penalties will be a welcome sign to privacy groups that want to see European Union regulators more aggressively enforce the General Data Protection Regulation. The law was hailed as a landmark moment in the regulation of technology companies when it took effect in 2018, but regulators have since faced criticism for not applying the rules strongly enough.
Ireland has been under pressure because of the key role it plays in enforcing E.U. data protection rules. The country polices tech companies’ compliance with the 2018 law because companies such as Meta, Google and Twitter put their E.U. headquarters in Ireland. TikTok, which also set up a E.U. hub in Ireland, is the subject of another investigation there.