Ireland’s data authority penalised WhatsApp €225 million (£193 million) for violating privacy laws.
It’s the biggest penalties the Irish Data Protection Commission has ever imposed, and the second-highest under EU GDPR laws.
The EU headquarters of Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, are in Ireland, and the Irish regulator is the internet giant’s main authority in Europe.
WhatsApp has stated that it disagrees with the judgement as well as the harshness of the sentence, and that it intends to file an appeal.
The punishment stems from a 2018 inquiry into whether WhatsApp was being transparent enough about how company manages personal data.
- Ireland’s data authority penalised WhatsApp €225 million (£193 million) for violating privacy laws.
- GDPR regulations allow for colossal fines of up to 4% of a company’s global sales.
The questions at hand were very technical, such as whether WhatsApp provided users with appropriate information about how their data was processed and if its privacy policies were clear enough.Those policies have been revised numerous times since then.
According to a business representative, “WhatsApp is committed to delivering a safe and private service.”
“We’ve worked hard to make sure the information we give is clear and thorough, and we’ll keep doing so. We disagree with today’s ruling on the transparency we offered in 2018, and the fines are completely excessive.”
GDPR regulations allow for colossal fines of up to 4% of a company’s global sales.
Following “a lengthy and extensive examination, ” the Irish DPC said it had sent its judgement to other national privacy authorities, as required by GDPR, and had received complaints from eight countries, including Germany, France, and Italy.
Some people disagreed with the Irish regulator about whether specific GDPR provisions had been violated or how the punishment was calculated, among other things.
In late July, the European Data Protection Board ordered the Irish Data Protection Commission to revise its findings, “reassess” its recommended punishment of €30-50 million (£26-43 million), and alter its judgement “by specifying a larger punitive sum.”
Reprimanded in writing
Privacy advocate Max Schrems applauded the decision, saying it “shows how the DPC is still highly dysfunctional.”
“Since 2018, the DPC has received around 10,000 complaints each year, and this is the first big fine,” he added.
And, due of WhatsApp’s anticipated appeal, “we will see years before any punishment is really paid” in the Irish judicial system.
However, the Irish Data Protection Commission has publicly reprimanded WhatsApp and directed it to “bring its processing into conformity.”
Only Amazon has been penalised more for violating GDPR regulations, which it is vehemently disputing.
Amazon was fined €746 million by Luxembourg’s regulator in July for allegedly violating data-processing regulations.
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