The owner of Instagram Meta has been fined £349 million (€405 million) by the Irish Data Protection Authority for breaching the General Data Protection Regulation. Instagram has allowed teens to create accounts that publicly display their phone numbers and email addresses. The diaries tell about it Watchman.
The agency found that the platform allowed minors between the ages of 13 and 17 to operate business accounts that display users’ phone numbers and email addresses. Plus, by default, even regular teen user accounts are set to public.
Meta, which also operates Facebook and WhatsApp, is headquartered in Europe in Ireland and is therefore subject to the regulatory authority of Ireland’s privacy watchdog. A year ago, the same authority fined the company 225 million euros for violating the GDPR, and it had to pay another 17 million euros in March. This is now the highest fine ever imposed by the supervisory authority on Meta and the second highest ever for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A higher penalty, €746 million, was imposed on Amazon in July 2021.
The Irish regulator will publish its decision next week. Meta said the case is about setting up a platform that is more than a year old. It confirmed that it cooperated fully during the investigation of the case and corrected the shortcomings identified. “Anyone under 18 is now automatically assigned a private account when creating an Instagram account. Only people they know can see what they post, and adults cannot message teens they don’t follow,” a company spokesperson said. Meta does not agree to the fine amount and announced that she will appeal against her.