Instagram fined a record $400 million in Europe for mishandling children’s data

What happened now? The European Digital Rights Body will fine Instagram more than $400 million, penalizing the social network for the way it managed children’s data until last year. The meta will appeal, but more bad news could come out of Ireland in the coming months.

Instagram will receive a significant fine from the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), Ireland’s independent national authority responsible for respecting privacy and other fundamental digital rights in the European Union, as outlined in the GDPR regulation. The social network Meta has to pay more than $400 million for the way the company managed children’s data up until last summer.

At the time of writing news and media section The DPC website has not been updated yet, but the EU privacy regulator confirmed Solution: A huge fine – one of the largest ever imposed by the Irish authorities – comes after a lengthy investigation launched in 2020 into how the social network managed the data of its youngest users, aged between 13 and 17.

According to DPC investigators, Instagram allowed child users to manage “business accounts” or creator accounts, making it easier to post and share phone numbers and email addresses with adults and strangers. Millions of European children could be involved, although the DPC has not given specific numbers other than a €405 million fine. The full details of the decision should be available next week, a DPC spokesperson said.

Automatic data sharing for child accounts is an issue that Meta addressed about a year ago: According to parent company Instagram, the DPC request is focused on an old setting that doesn’t take into account improvements introduced more recently. “Anyone under the age of 18 has their account automatically closed when they join Instagram,” a Meta spokesperson said. said“so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t send messages to teens who aren’t following them.”

Instagram says the social network is now safer for teens and their data, and the company plans to appeal the decision. The €405 million fine represents the second-heaviest fine ever imposed by the authorities and could be just the start of a series of bad news for Meta: Six more investigations are underway by the Irish regulator and each could lead to another remarkable monetary penalty. for Mark Zuckerberg’s scandal-torn company.

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