Facebook Fined Over A Billion Dollars In Privacy Lawsuit

Facebook is being fined over a billion euros by the European Union for mishandling user data.

By Douglas Helm | Updated


It looks like Facebook is in hot water with the EU over forwarding EU user data to the US. The lawsuit is to the tune of 1.2 billion euros. According to Tutanota, the social media company is looking to take legal action to appeal the fine.

However, this fine has been a long time in the making. Two key players in making this fine happen are Max Schrems and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Schrems sued Facebook years ago for this data transfer, and the efforts have finally come to bear.

Of course, Edward Snowden is well-known for releasing information that indicated US secret services could easily get data from US services like Facebook, which violates the policies set forth in the European General Data Protection Regulation. Ten years after Snowden’s info dump, there was finally enough pressure for the Irish data protection authority to level the fine against the social media giant. The fine is record-breaking, with the previous record being held by Amazon after it was fined 746 million euros.

In addition to the fine, Facebook must also stop transferring European data to the US and has six months to do so. Of course, the social media company is complaining about the fine, so it’ll be interesting to see how the courts rule regarding any forthcoming appeals. Regardless, this is hardly the first time that the company has been fined due to European General Data Protection Regulation compliance regulations.

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Mark Zuckerberg the creator of Facebook

Since the introduction of the European General Data Protection Regulation in 2018, Facebook has been fined an astounding four billion euros, so you’d think the company would have learned its lesson by now. In fact, the company makes the top ten biggest GDPR fines list a whopping six times. Along with this new 1.2 billion euro fine, the company has been fined 405 million euros, 390 million euros, 265 million euros, and 60 million euros on separate occasions.

Other companies that make the list include the aforementioned Amazon, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), and Google. Clearly, the social media giant isn’t willing to give an inch when it comes to GDPR regulations, and this battle seems like it will continue to rage on. The company has managed the fines so far, but it seems even one of the biggest companies on Earth isn’t okay with coughing up over a billion.

At this point, it doesn’t seem like Facebook is going to stop getting fined anytime soon. In accordance with the European General Data Protection Regulation, the company would have to give users on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, a clear Yes or No option to consent or refuse data collection. Since the company largely relies on data as a business, it seems unlikely it will be willing to give ground on this front.

It seems unlikely that too many people are going to feel sorry for Facebook in this scenario. However, we’ll have to wait and see if the courts are willing to take the social media company’s side. We’ll keep you updated on this situation as it develops.