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European Union fines Meta record-breaking $1.3 billion for data handling

Meta said it is "disappointed to have been singled out" over its handling of data.

May 22, 2023 8:42am

Updated: May 22, 2023 11:55am

The European Union on Monday fined Meta a record-breaking $1.3 billion and ordered the company to stop transferring Facebook user data over to the U.S. by October, but Meta has vowed to challenge the decision.

The fine is the largest issued by the EU under its General Data Protection Regulation law, which passed five years ago, according to officials.

"The unprecedented fine is a strong signal to organisations that serious infringements have far-reaching consequences," European Data Protection Board chair Andrea Jelinek said.

EU-U.S. data transfers were protected until it was struck down in 2020  by the EU's top court, which ruled that it was not enough to protect residents from the U.S. government's spying. The fine was imposed for Meta's transfers of personal user data to the U.S. since the court decision.

Jelinek said that Meta's "infringement is very serious since it concerns transfers that are systematic, repetitive and continuous."

In response to the order, Meta said: "We intend to appeal both the decision’s substance and its orders including the fine, and will seek a stay through the courts to pause the implementation deadlines."

The social networking company also said it is "disappointed to have been singled out" over its handling of data and pointed out that "transfers continue largely unchallenged to countries such as China."

Before Monday, the EU's largest data protection-related fine was against Amazon for $887 million in 2021.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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