Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has been fined €17 million, the equivalent of $18.6 million. The fine comes from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) over data breaches in 2018. Said data breaches affected roughly 30 million users.
The DCP chose to look into the matter after receiving twelve data breach notifications from Facebook within a six-month period. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect in May 2018, requires data controllers to report the breach of personal data if said data breach poses a risk to users.
“As a result of its inquiry, the DPC found that Meta Platforms infringed Articles 5(2) and 24(1) GDPR,” the DCP said in a press release. “The DPC found that Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organizational measures which would enable it to readily demonstrate the security measures that it implemented in practice to protect EU users’ data, in the context of the twelve personal data breaches.”
Conversely, a Facebook spokesperson gave little weight to the multiple breaches, saying, “This fine is about record-keeping practices from 2018 that we have since updated, not a failure to protect people’s information. We take our obligations under the GDPR seriously and will carefully consider this decision as our processes continue to evolve.”
Of course, Meta is no stranger to controversy. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is currently suing the metaverse pioneer over Meta’s use of facial recognition technology. Furthermore, Paxton expects to claim hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. Additionally, Meta is likely to lose $2 million due to Facebook and Instagram bans in Russia.
However, the company’s scandals don’t just involve lawsuits and data breaches. Meta chose to add a personal boundary feature to its metaverse platform after a woman came forward about a virtual sexual assault. Additionally, Jeren A. Miles, former Head Of Global Community Development at Meta, left the company after being caught in an underage sex sting.
Meta and the Meatverse
Despite its many scandals, Meta continues to be a strong metaverse contender. Earlier this month Zuckerberg revealed some of the company’s in-progress AI projects. Likewise, Meta is working on the AI Research SuperCluster, a powerful supercomputer.