Meta has landed itself in hot water for its privacy practices yet again, with Norway's Data Protection Authority pledging to fine the social media giant $100,000 a day if they continue collecting behavioral information for marketing purposes.
The authority also claimed they will ban the Facebook and Instagram parent company if they fail to take remedial action, explaining “it is so clear that this is illegal that we need to intervene now and immediately.”
Norway isn't the only European country cracking down on Meta's unethical practices, with Ireland's data regulator fining the company $1.3 billion in May for mishandling user information. Here's what we know so far.
Norway Cracks Down on Meta's Data Harvesting
Norway's Data Protection Regulator is threatening to fine social media giant Meta $100,000 every day from August 4th to November 3rd unless the company changes the way they collect data, according to a new press release from the agency, Datatisynet.
According to the statement, in addition to the fine, the regulator is imposing an outright ban on behavioral data collection, but will not prohibit the platform from operating in the Scandinavian country.
The action follows a recent ruling from Ireland's data regulator (DPC) that bans companies from harvesting sensitive data like user location and behavior for advertising purposes.
While Meta has recently revised their privacy practices to adhere to European Economic Area (EEA) regulations, they still aren't in accordance with the new DPC law, making its activities illegal.
Speaking on the issue, Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet's international section, tells Reuters that the decision “would put additional pressure” on the Silicon Valley giant, citing the need to intervene “now and immediately.”
It isn't clear what Meta's next step will be, but the company told Reuters it's reviewing Datatilsynet's decision and that pushback wouldn't immediately impact its services.
Europe Takes a United Stand Against Meta
While Meta's liberal data-hoarding practices may fly in the US, Europe is notably less forgiving. Datatylsynet's recent move only applies to Norway, but the agency has referred its decision to the European Data Protection Board, which has the power to make the fine permanent and apply it to other countries across the continent.
What's more, after Meta was found to violate the EU's General Data Protection Regulation last May by transferring European data to US servers, the company was subject to a record fine of €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) by the Irish Data Protection Commission.
These standards, which have been in place since May 2018, have also led to eye-watering fines being leveraged against Meta-owned platforms WhatsApp and Instagram in January.
As Europe's regulatory grip on the company tightens, its message for the company is clear: comply with our demands or withdraw from the market altogether.