Instagram fined by Irish regulators for data breach


Irish regulators are fining Instagram a hefty sum after an investigation found the social media platform mishandled teenagers’ personal information in breach of strict data privacy rules of the European Union.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said by email on Monday that it made a final decision last week to fine the company 405 million euros ($402 million), although full details will not be available. announced until next week.

The penalty is the second major penalty issued under strict EU privacy rules, after Luxembourg regulators fined Amazon 746 million euros last year.

Meta, Instagram’s parent company, which also owns Facebook, said that while it was “fully engaged” with regulators throughout the investigation, “we disagree on how this fine should be calculated.” and intend to appeal.”

The Irish watchdog’s investigation focuses on how Instagram displays the personal information of users aged 13 to 17, including email addresses and phone numbers. The minimum age for Instagram users is 13.

The investigation began after a data scientist discovered that users, including those under the age of 18, were switching to a business account and had their contact information visible on their profile. surname. Users appear to be doing it to see stats on how many likes their posts get after Instagram started removing the feature from personal accounts in some countries to help improve health. mental.

Instagram says the investigation focuses on “old settings” that were updated more than a year ago and since then it has released new privacy features for teens, including automatically setting their accounts. private when they join.

“We are continuing to carefully consider the rest of the decision,” the company said.

Under EU data privacy regulations, the Irish watchdog is the top regulator for many US tech companies with their European headquarters in Dublin.

The watchdog has a host of other requirements regarding Meta-owned companies. Last year, it fined WhatsApp 225 million euros for violating transparency rules in sharing people’s data with other Meta companies.

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