Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has been issued a “record fine” of 1.2 billion euros by an Irish data protection watchdog after it was found to have breached general data protection regulations (GDPR).
The fine comes in regardings to Meta’s transfer of data to the US belonging to European Union Facebook users to the US, where the company is subject to fewer privacy protections.
In light of the verdict, Facebook has been ordered to halt the practice and has been given five months to suspend future transfers. It has also been given six months to stop unlawful processing and storage of data in the US.
The decade-long issue was first brought to light in legal proceedings in 2013, however, following Meta’s response, it appears it could still not be coming to an end anytime soon.
The social media group said that it would be appealing the decision, and there would be no disruption to the service, calling the fine “unjustified and unnecessary”.
The firm added that there was a “fundamental conflict of law” between European privacy rights and the US government’s rules on accessing data, which it said was expected to be resolved during summer, before it is required to suspend transfers.
If approved, it would mean that the firm could continue to operate Facebook services in Europe, despite previous warnings that such a ruling would force a suspension.