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Meta was fined 265 million euros for failing to protect the data of 500 million users

The Irish data watchdog has fined Meta €265 million for a breach that led to the details of more than 500 million users being published online.

The Data Protection Commission said Meta, Facebook’s parent company, had breached two articles of EU data protection laws, after details of Facebook users from around the world were stolen from public profiles in 2018 and 2019.

The data appeared on a hacking website last year, prompting the Data Protection Committee, which is responsible for policing meta across the European Union, to launch an investigation. The watchdog said a large number of users were from the European Union.

In addition to the fine, the watchdog imposed a “reprimand and order” requiring Meta to bring its handling of these issues into compliance with EU standards by taking a set of specific remedial actions within a certain time frame.

On the other hand, Mita said in a statement: “We have made changes to our systems during the relevant time, including preventing feature theft in this way. The unauthorized taking of data is unacceptable and against our rules.”

With this penalty, the total amount of fines imposed by the Data Protection Commission on Meta has reached nearly one billion euros since September last year.

In September, Meta was fined €405 million for allowing teenagers to create Instagram accounts that publicly display their phone numbers and email addresses, and in March, the watchdog fined Meta €17 million for other breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation. And in September last year, WhatsApp was fined €225 million for “gross and serious” breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation.

It is noteworthy that the Data Protection Committee controls Apple, Google, and TikTok platforms, in addition to other technology platforms, due to its headquarters in the European Union in Ireland. It is now opening 40 investigations into these companies, of which 13 are related to Meta.

The Irish regulator said in a statement that the other relevant EU regulators agreed with Monday’s decision after it showed them a draft ruling last month under the EU’s “single window” system for regulating large multinationals.

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