The most important sanction ever imposed on Facebook: the European Authority that is responsible for verifying the effective application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) uses a hard fist. What the social network must do between now and October 2023.
EDPB (European Data Protection Board) is an independent body of the European Union (EU) which is responsible for ensuring the consistent application of data protection rules. It was established by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is composed of representatives of the Data Protection Authorities of each Member State, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission.
With a historic decision, EDPB communicated that it had decided to impose a fine of 1.2 billion of euros to Facebook: the reason? The company led by Mark Zuckerberg has moved to the United States personal data of European citizens without complying with the provisions contained in the GDPR.
We said that in terms of data transfer in the United States, Google Analytics was only the tip of the iceberg; so, just today, the very heavy cold shower has arrived for Facebook and for the parent company Meta.
The offense committed by Meta was deemed extremely serious as it relates to systematic, repetitive and continuous transfers. Facebook has millions of users in Europe, so the volume of personal data transferred is huge. The unprecedented fine is a strong signal and is intended as a warning to organizations that manage large amounts of personal data without the appropriate guarantees for the data subjects.
Not only is Facebook’s parent company now required to pay the amount of the fine, the largest by value ever imposed on a private company, but it has until 12 October 2023 to stop i data transfers carried out in violation of the regulatory provisions.
“We are appealing these decisions and will immediately seek a stay in the courts that have the powers to stay the proceedings. And that’s even considering the damage these orders would cause, even to the millions of people who use Facebook every dayNick Clegg, president of Meta global affairs, and Jennifer Newstead, the company’s chief legal officer, commented in a statement.
The severe stance against Meta-Facebook comes in the midst of the dialogue between Europe and the United States, which has been working for some time to arrive at subscription of a new agreement for the legal transfer of data overseas.
Just think that during 2022, in one of the financial reports produced by Meta, the company declared that “it likely would not have been able to offer some of its most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe” if the United States and the European Union were not able to reach a new agreement on data transfers. Zuckerberg’s company quickly pointed out that it was not threatening to leave Europe.
At this point, the social network par excellence, it could avoid both the economic penalty and the obligation to refrain from transferring user data to servers physically located in the United States if the transatlantic agreement with the European Union becomes operational by next October.
“This decision is wrong, unjustified and sets a dangerous precedent for countless other companies transferring data between the EU and the US“, says Meta in another official post.
In the absence of the “green light” to store user data in the US, Meta may try to redesign its systems to keep much of the personal information of Europeans in the Old Continent. Such a project would be extremely complex and might not even be approved by the authorities, at least if the European activities continued to depend on the US parent company, directly or indirectly.