The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has fined Instagram €405 million for violating children’s privacy rights.
It is the DPC’s largest fine to date and the second significant fine imposed on Meta, following a €225 million fine imposed on Whatsapp last year. A fine of 17 million euros was also recently imposed on Facebook by the Irish regulator.
“We made our final decision last Friday and it includes a fine of 405 million euros,” said a DPC spokesman. “Full details of the decision will be released next week.”
The €405 million fine is the result of a consultation process with other European data regulators. A spokesman described the Irish DPC decision as “significant” as it is the first to deal with children’s private information.
“This investigation was initiated on September 21, 2020, based on information provided to the DPC by a third party and in relation to the processing identified by the DPC itself,” the spokesman said.
The scope of the investigation focused on Facebook, which allows children between the ages of 13 and 17 to run “business accounts” on the Instagram platform.
“At certain times, the operation of such accounts required and facilitated the release of the child user’s phone number and/or email address to the entire world,” the spokesman said.
At other times, Facebook operated a user registration system for the Instagram service, which defaulted child users’ accounts to “public,” making child users’ social media content public unless the account was otherwise set to “private.” was set. by changing the privacy settings of the account.
According to a spokesman, Meta plans to appeal the fine.
“This investigation focused on old settings that we updated over a year ago, and we’ve since released many new features to protect teenagers and keep their information private,” the spokesman said.
“People under the age of 18 will automatically have their accounts private when they join Instagram, so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t message unfollowing teens. While we have engaged fully with the DPC throughout their investigation, we disagree with the calculation of this fine and intend to appeal. We will continue to carefully consider the rest of the decision.”
The meta spokesman added that the company is not appealing a Facebook fine of €17 million previously imposed by the Irish regulator. The company had previously said it was unhappy with the fine, which it said was related to “retention practices” and “no failure to protect people’s information.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/instagram-fined-405m-by-irish-regulator-for-breaching-childrens-privacy-rights-41962706.html Instagram has been fined €405m by the Irish regulator for violating children’s privacy rights