Skip to content

Meta Faces Unprecedented EU Privacy Fine Over Facebook Data Transfer

Meta Platforms Inc, Facebook's parent company, is bracing for an unprecedented privacy fine from the European Union over its data transfer practices. This move could surpass previous penalties and potentially disrupt Facebook services in Europe.

Logos of Meta and Facebook
Logos of Meta and Facebook

Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of Facebook, is on the verge of receiving a record-breaking privacy fine from the European Union. The fine is a consequence of Meta's failure to adhere to a top EU court's warning regarding transferring European Facebook users' data to U.S. servers, as stated by two sources privy to the situation.

Record-Breaking Fine Surpasses Amazon's Penalty

The forthcoming fine is expected to surpass the previous record of 746 million euros ($821.20 million), which was levied on Inc. The specific figures in Meta's case are yet to be released.

Meta's Silence and EU Regulators' Moves

Despite the impending penalty, Meta has refrained from commenting on the matter. Meanwhile, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) and the European Commission have yet to respond to requests for comments from news outlets immediately.

Banning Facebook's Data Transfer Mechanism

EU regulators spearheaded the case, including Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon. They aim to finalize a ban on the legal tool Facebook utilizes to transfer European user data. This decision is driven by fears that U.S. intelligence agencies may have access to this transferred data.

In April, regulators indicated that the Irish DPC had one month to enforce an order to halt Facebook's transatlantic data flows. As such, a ban could be operational by mid-May. The roots of this move trace back to 2020 when Europe's highest court deemed an EU-U.S. data transfer agreement invalid due to surveillance concerns.

Potential Impact on Facebook Services in Europe

Meta has previously warned that any ban on its data transfer mechanism could suspend Facebook services in Europe. This indicates the severe implications the decision could have on Meta's operations and regional users.