Norway fines Meta 1M crowns daily for behavioral ads dispute.

Norway fines Meta 1M crowns daily for behavioral ads dispute.

Meta Faces Another Fine Over Privacy Violations

In yet another blow to Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, Norwegian regulators have demanded a hefty daily fine of 1 million crowns (€89,000) starting from August 14th. This punishment comes after a series of privacy breaches by Meta, including a €390 million fine for illegal personalized ads, a €5.5 million penalty for similar violations on WhatsApp, and a record-breaking €1.2 billion fine for unsafe data transfers. The punishment, both sizable and amusingly precise in its round figure, has caught the attention of media outlets and the public alike, drawing comparisons to the fictional villain Dr Evil.

The ruling stems from the temporary ban on behavioral ads on Facebook and Instagram that Norway imposed last month due to privacy breaches. The country’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, not only implemented the ban but also warned that Meta would face fines if it failed to address the violations. Datatilsynet highlighted the risks of using online behavior for targeted advertising, which range from fostering discrimination to undermining democratic processes. Tobias Judin, the head of Datatilsynet’s International Sector, emphasized the importance of users having control over their own data and limiting intrusive commercial surveillance.

In response to the backlash, Meta made a commitment last week to seek consent from European Union (EU) users before showing personalized ads. However, this measure did not impress Datatilsynet, as Meta stated that it could take several months, at the earliest, to implement the consent mechanism, leaving uncertainty about its design. Consequently, Datatilsynet plans to issue daily fines until at least November 3rd, with the possibility of making them permanent.

For Meta, these privacy sanctions have become all too familiar. The social media giant has accumulated over half of the €4 billion in total fines for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) breaches since May. This pattern of repeated violations and substantial penalties demonstrates the company’s struggle to prioritize user privacy and data protection.

While the fines imposed on Meta may appear exorbitant, they serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of safeguarding user data and respecting privacy rights. The financial repercussions are intended to deter companies from engaging in practices that compromise user privacy and benefit commercial interests at the expense of individuals. By levying significant fines, regulatory bodies aim to hold companies accountable and foster a culture of responsible data usage within the technology industry.

The continuous stream of privacy violations and resulting fines faced by Meta highlights the need for stricter regulations and stronger enforcement mechanisms. It underscores the urgency for companies to prioritize privacy in their business models and invest in technologies that protect user data. As users become increasingly aware of the potential risks associated with online surveillance and targeted advertising, companies must adapt to the changing landscape and provide transparent and user-centric data practices.

In conclusion, Meta’s latest fine from Norwegian regulators adds to the litany of privacy sanctions the company has faced in recent years. The demand for a daily penalty of 1 million crowns reflects the seriousness of the violations and sends a clear message that user privacy must be safeguarded. It is imperative for companies like Meta to learn from these incidents, prioritize privacy, and ensure they comply with data protection regulations. Only by doing so can they regain the trust of users and mitigate the risk of further fines and reputational damage.