Norway first to put daily penalty on Meta over data security concerns

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Norway’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, has revealed that it is imposing a daily fine of $100,000 on Meta, the parent company of Facebook, due to its unauthorized use of users’ personal information for marketing purposes. This action has been taken without obtaining the necessary consent from users.

In a recent press release, the Norwegian data watchdog stated that it will start enforcing a penalty of one million kroner, equivalent to $98,500, per day beginning on August 14th of this year against Meta, the owner of the popular social networking platform.

The issue arises from Facebook and Instagram’s adoption of behavioral marketing campaigns over the past two years. Datatilsynet had previously issued warnings to these platforms, urging them to cease their utilization of targeted advertising campaigns based on user behaviors. The first warning was issued on June 28th, followed by a subsequent one on July 14th of the same year.

Despite these repeated warnings, Meta persisted in its use of targeted ads, leveraging users’ search patterns and previously recorded browsing interests. These practices raised serious concerns about the violation of data protection rights and the erosion of users’ privacy.

The verdict against Meta was based on its violation of data protection laws, prompting the Norwegian information commission to impose a penalty on the global conglomerate. Additionally, if Meta fails to rectify its non-compliant data processing practices, it could potentially face a significant penalty in the form of a 1-2 year ban in Norway. This would result in the suspension of its services across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, leading to substantial business losses.

Tobias Judin, the head of Datatilsynet’s International Department, confirmed the accuracy of the news and emphasized that Meta will be given an ample timeframe to appeal against the ban before it takes effect.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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