Instagram has violated data protection rules in the EU, which are intended to protect personal data of young people in particular, and must now pay a fine of 405 million euros. This was imposed by the competent Irish authorities.
Phone numbers and mail addresses could be published
Meta, the company behind Instagram as behind Facebook and WhatsApp, is obliged to protect the data of minors in the EU particularly well. This includes the mandate to prevent the publication of such data that allows private contact outside its own platforms. However, the company failed to comply with precisely this mandate. Thus, it was possible for minors to open business accounts on Instagram – and in the course of this to have phone numbers as well as mail addresses publicly displayed.
Meta won’t accept penalty
Meta has already announced that it does not want to accept the penalty. Mark Zuckerberg’s company pointed out that it had already adjusted the relevant settings a year ago so that the data of young people was now no longer publicly visible – even if they used a business account.
This is likely to lead to another legal dispute between the EU and Meta. In the past, there had already been numerous of these, as the US company repeatedly violated applicable data protection rules. Only in March Meta was sentenced to pay a fine of 17 million euros. But it’s not just in the EU that the group keeps getting into trouble. In the USA, too, lawsuits against Meta are piling up because data protection regulations have been violated. For example, a lawsuit is currently underway in Texas because Meta is alleged to have illegally carried out facial recognition. In Illinois, Meta was ordered to pay $650 million in damages for the same offense.