Tech UPTechnologyInstagram fined $402 million for mishandling minors' data

Instagram fined $402 million for mishandling minors' data

Meta is once again involved in controversial privacy issues. On this occasion, the Irish Data Protection Commission, one of the most important regulators of the specialty in the European Union, fined Instagram 402 million dollars for mishandling the data of minors.

The investigation against the company began a couple of years ago and focused on how the social network allegedly violated the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in two ways.

One was allowing users between the ages of 13 and 17 to set up business accounts within the platform, which made their contact information publicly available, while the second was making some users’ accounts public. in this age range by default.

The GDPR is one of the most demanding documents in terms of privacy, especially when it comes to provisions aimed at protecting the information of minors, since in this sector digital services must comply with extensive principles of transparency and responsibility.

“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it contains a fine of 405 million euros ($402 million). Full details of the decision will be published next week,” Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) said.

Meta responded to this case through a statement sent to Politico, where he said that they updated the social network for more than a year and therefore, “anyone under the age of 18 automatically has their account set to private when they join. Instagram, so only people they know can see what they post and adults can’t send messages if they don’t follow them.”

On the other hand, in a response sent to the AP agency, the company indicated that it does not agree with the way in which the Commission calculated the fine against it and they intend to appeal the decision.

This is the third and largest fine received by Meta in the European Union so far. In September last year, the regulator imposed a $267 million penalty for WhatsApp failing to properly inform citizens of the bloc how it collected and used their data.

In March of this year, the DPC fined the company 18.6 million dollars, due to 12 data breaches that occurred in 2018 and affected up to 30 million users of its platforms.

Likewise, Meta has been under scrutiny, after the whistleblower Frances Haugen spoke of the effects that the social network has on the mental health of young people, something that also generated changes within the platform for young audiences.

On the other hand, Meta products are not the only ones that are being investigated by the DPC, since the agency has also been closely observing the developments of TikTok and the handling of data of minors for a year.

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