Meta Is Set To Be Fined $98,500 Per Day In Norway Due To Privacy Breaches

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, is facing significant consequences for its privacy breaches. Norway’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, announced that starting from August 14th, Meta will be fined 1 million krone ($98,500) per day due to its failure to address privacy issues. This development could potentially have broader implications for the entire European Union.

The decision to fine Meta comes after Datatilsynet identified privacy breaches and gave the company until August 4th to rectify the situation. However, Meta did not meet this deadline, prompting the data protection authority to implement the daily fine.

One of the primary concerns raised by Datatilsynet is Meta’s practice of harvesting user data in Norway, including physical locations, to facilitate targeted advertising, commonly known as behavioral advertising. This practice has become a hallmark of major tech companies, but it often raises privacy concerns.

Although Meta recently announced its intention to seek user consent within the European Union before employing targeted advertising, Datatilsynet deemed this insufficient. The authority insists that Meta must cease the processing of personal data immediately, at least until the consent mechanism is fully functional. According to Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet’s international section, the timeline provided by Meta for implementing this mechanism is uncertain.

The fine imposed by Datatilsynet will run until November 3rd. If the authority chooses to make this decision permanent, it could refer the case to the European Data Protection Board, potentially extending the repercussions to the entire European continent.

Meta’s recent change in its approach to targeted advertising is a response to regulatory demands in the region and stems from an order issued by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner. While Norway is not an EU member, it operates within the European single market, making this situation a notable test case for cross-border data privacy issues.

As this fine takes effect, Meta’s struggles with data privacy could have far-reaching implications, urging other tech giants to reevaluate their privacy practices and prompting regulators across Europe to take a closer look at the data-handling practices of these companies. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for how data privacy violations are addressed and penalized within the digital realm.

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