Irish Regulator Fines Meta US$275 Million For Data Breach

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Irish Regulator Fines Meta US$275 Million For Data Breach
29 Nov 2022
5 min read


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After the information of more than half a billion users were exposed on a hacking website, Ireland's data regulator fined Facebook owner Meta 265 million euros ($275 million) on Monday.

The decision was made, according to the Data Protection Commission (DPC), after a  "comprehensive inquiry process, including cooperation with all of the other data protection supervisory authorities within the EU".

Along with several other significant international tech firms including Google, Apple, and Twitter, Meta's European operations are based in Dublin.

Ireland's data protection agency is the primary regulator in charge of keeping them accountable as a result.

The watchdog discovered two sections of the EU's data protection laws had been broken by the social media juggernaut headed by Mark Zuckerberg.

The Facebook owner was ordered by the DPC to  "bring its processing into compliance by taking a range of specified remedial actions within a particular timeframe".  in addition to paying a fine, the DPC claimed.

A spokeswoman for Meta responded to the fine by stating that the company had  "cooperated fully" with the DPC on the matter.

The tech company had previously said that hackers had "scraped" the data from the website in 2019, using a function intended to make it simple for users to find friends via contact lists.

The spokesman explained that during the relevant period, "We made changes to our systems during the time in question, including removing the ability to scrape our features in this way using phone numbers," 

"Unauthorised data scraping is unacceptable and against our rules and we will continue working with our peers on this industry challenge. We are reviewing this decision carefully," they continue.

Last Updated - 03 Oct 2022

According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook's parent company Meta informed its employees that it will place a freeze on hiring to reduce expenses while the economy remains tough.

The Journal reported that Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Meta, announced a planned freeze in recruiting during a weekly all-hands meeting, adding that the decision came as the social media giant planned to slash costs by at least 10%.

When the company revealed its first quarterly revenue fall and a plummeting profit in July, Meta refused to comment on the issue and instead pointed AFP to comments Zuckerberg made at the time.

In order to "reallocate our energy"  according to Zuckerberg, teams would be reduced as the company battled a shaky economy and the growing TikTok phenomenon.

 Although Meta had long provided what seemed to be unending growth, it recently recorded its first global daily user drop.

During an earnings call, Zuckerberg told analysts, "This is an era that needs more focus, and I want us to get more done with fewer resources."

The economic downturn, which is causing advertisers to trim their marketing budgets, and Apple's data privacy regulations, which have limited the scope for ad personalization, have been bad for big internet platforms.

This year, tech companies including Snap and the titan of e-commerce Amazon have announced layoffs.

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