US social media giant Meta was slapped Wednesday with fines totalling 390 million euros ($413 million) for breaching EU personal data laws on Facebook and Instagram, Ireland’s data regulator said.
Meta and other US Big Tech firms have been hit by huge fines over their business practices in the European Union in recent years and the bloc has also tightened online regulation.
The Irish Data Protection Commission said in a statement that Meta breached “its obligations in relation to transparency” and used an incorrect legal basis “for its processing of personal data for the purpose of behavioural advertising”.
The watchdog reached “final decisions” to fine Meta Ireland 210 million euros in relation to Facebook and 180 million euros in relation to Instagram, for violating Europe’s landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The announcement came one month after Europe’s data regulator, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), imposed binding decisions over the treatment of personal data by the group.
One of those rulings concerns Meta’s instant messaging division WhatsApp, with Ireland’s DPC due to announce a separate verdict next week.
The internet giant’s European operations are based in Dublin, along with a number of other major global tech companies including Google, Apple and Twitter.
As a result, Ireland’s data protection agency is the lead European regulator responsible for holding them to account.