Meta slapped by EU fine over data privacy breach

Himanshi Singh
Himanshi Singh
Associate, Policy & Advocacy
May 30, 2023


The European Union has fined the meta $ 1.3 billion for infringing the EU privacy laws by transferring the personal data of Facebook users to the United States. The EU fined Meta’s business in Ireland. As per the European Union, transferring Personal data to the US is a breach of the General data protection Regulation or European Union law on data protection and privacy.

GDPR Compliance

The terms of GDPR promise to gather users’ personal information legally and under strict conditions. And those who collect and manage personal data must protect users’ personal data from exploitation. The GDPR restricts an organisation’s capacity to transfer personal data outside the EU if the transfer is solely based on that body’s evaluation of the sufficiency of the personal data’s protection. Transfers should only be made where European authorities have determined that a third country, a territory within that third country, or an international organisation provides acceptable protection for data protection.

Violation by Meta

The punishment, announced by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, might be one of the most significant in the five years since the European Union passed the landmark General Data Protection Regulation. According to regulators, Facebook failed to comply with a 2020 judgment by the European Union’s top court that Facebook data transferred over the Atlantic was not sufficiently safeguarded from American espionage agencies. However, whether Meta will ever need to encrypt Facebook users’ data in Europe is still being determined. Meta announced it would appeal the ruling, launching a potentially legal procedure.

Simultaneously, European Union and American officials are negotiating a new data-sharing pact that would provide legal protections for Meta and scores of other companies to continue moving information between the US and Europe. This pact could overturn much of the European Union’s Monday ruling.

Article 46(1) GDPR Has been violated by the meta, And as per the Irish privacy.  

What is required by the GDPR before transferring personal information across national boundaries?


Personal data transfers to countries outside the European Economic Area are generally permitted if these nations are regarded to provide a sufficient degree of data protection. According to Article 45 of the GDPR, the European Commission evaluates the degree of personal data protection in third countries.

The European Union judgment demonstrates how government rules are upending the borderless way data has traditionally migrated. Companies are increasingly being pressed to store data within the country where it is acquired rather than allowing it to transfer freely to data centres around the world as a result of data-protection requirements, national security laws, and other regulations.

The US internet giant had previously warned that if forced to stop using SCCs (standard contractual clauses) without a proper alternative data transfer agreement in place, it would be compelled to shut down services such as Facebook and Instagram in Europe.

What will happen next for Facebook in Europe?

The ruling includes a six-month transition period before it must halt data flows, meaning the service will continue to operate in the meantime. (More specifically, Meta has been given a five-month transition period to freeze any future transfer of personal data to the United States and a six-month deadline to terminate the unlawful processing and/or storage of European user data it has previously transferred without a legitimate legal basis. Meta has also stated that it will appeal and appears to seek a stay of execution while it pursues its legal arguments in court.


The GDPR places restrictions on transferring personal data outside the European Union to third-party nations or international bodies to ensure that the GDPR’s level of protection for individuals is not jeopardised. But the meta violated the European Union’s privacy laws by the user’s personal information to the US. Under the compliance of GDPR, transferring and sending personal information to users intentionally is an offence. and presently, the personal data of Facebook users has been breached by the Meta, as they shared the information with the US.

May 30, 2023
Tech and Law

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