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Meta has to pay a fine of 265 million euros


Because data from half a billion Facebook users has been leaked, the Irish data protection authority has imposed a fine of millions on the parent company Meta. He had previously tried to downplay the incident.

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Logo of the Facebook app: »The supervisory authorities have zeroed in on the topic«

Photo: Dado Ruvic / REUTERS

Meta has to pay a fine of 265 million euros in Ireland for a data leak that was discovered in 2021.

At the time, personal data from around half a billion Facebook users was offered in a hacker forum, including 533 million telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and, in some cases, the place of residence of the users.

Numbers of German MPs and people who are threatened by the so-called NSU 2.0 were also leaked at the time.

The Irish data protection authority DPC said on Monday it had completed its investigation into the April 2021 case.

The data protection authorities of the other EU members had cooperated with the Irish authority and agreed with the decision.

more on the subject

  • Internal information: Facebook wants to sit out excitement about huge data leakBy Patrick Beuth

  • Data from 530 million users published: Bundestag warns MPs about Facebook leak by Max Hoppenstedt, Marcel Rosenbach and Roman Höfner

  • Phone Numbers, IDs, Full Names: Data of 533 million Facebook users released

The DPC is regularly criticized for being too hesitant or too slow in tackling data protection incidents by the large Internet companies that often have branches in Ireland.

In the past 14 months alone, however, Meta had to pay 17 million euros, the Meta subsidiary WhatsApp 225 million euros and the Instagram app, which also belongs to Meta, 405 million euros for violations of data protection rules.

Together with the decision announced today, the fine for Meta adds up to over 900 million euros.

Facebook had tried to downplay the leak

Facebook said it would review the verdict.

Criminals scraped the publicly available data before September 2019.

With this method, publicly accessible data is automatically collected and collated on a large scale without penetrating the internal IT systems of a company.

Facebook accordingly emphasized that the company's systems had not been hacked.

Meta thus remains loyal to a line of defense with which the group tried to sit out the data leak in 2021.

In a leaked email, the company had sworn to its employees that "the supervisory authorities had zeroed in on the issue" and that a "constant drumbeat of criticism in the press would therefore continue".

Meta has appealed both the Instagram and WhatsApp decisions.

Now judges have to decide.

A ruling is considered to set a precedent for future investigations into data breaches.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-11-28

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