Ireland: Instagram slapped USD 400 million fine over children’s data

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Ireland’s data privacy watchdog has levied a record 405 million euro (USD 402 million) fine against social media platform Instagram after an investigation into its handling of children’s data. A spokesperson for Meta, Instagram’s parent company, has said that it plans to appeal against the ruling, said Reuters.

The investigation began in 2020, and found that teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 were allowed to operate business accounts. This facilitated publication of the user’s phone number and email address.

“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of 405 million euro,” said the spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the lead regulator of Instagram’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc.

Full details of the decision will be published next week, he said.

Instagram updated its settings over a year ago and has since released new features to keep teens safe and their information private, the Meta spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that Instagram disagreed with the way the fine was calculated.

The DPC regulates Facebook, Apple, Google and other technology giants due to the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland. It has opened over a dozen investigations into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp was last year fined a record 225 million euros for failing to conform with EU data rules in 2018.

(With inputs from agencies)

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