The GDPR turned five this week — and celebrated in the usual style: by hitting Meta with another eye-popping fine.
At a record €1.2 billion, the penalty was the perfect present for EU law. For Meta, however, it marks another miserable anniversary.
According to research by Privacy mattersis the demonic brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg built up more than half of the total GDPR fines of €4 billion.
After racking up a whopping $2.5 billion across seven separate sentences, it’s safe to say Meta won’t be attending the birthday party. But it was unlikely that he would have received an invitation anyway.
The social media behemoth has been feuding with EU lawmakers for years. On multiple occasionshas the company even gone as far as threatening to block services in Europe on data rules.
The EU, meanwhile, has gleefully handed out fines for Meta’s data protection breaches. The majority has supplied by the Facts Protection Authority of Ireland, where Meta has its European headquarters. In 2022 alone, the regulator issued four fines.
The Facebook owner isn’t the only one entering the GDPR’s crosshairs, but it has been by far the most consistent target.
Amazon and Google to have combined total fines of approximately €800 million – a figure dwarfed by Meta’s most recent fine alone. Meanwhile, Microsoft, Apple, Pinterest and LinkedIn have never been charged.
The sanctions have cemented the EU’s reputation as that of the West top technical controller. For the AVG, that’s another reason to celebrate. But for Meta, this birthday party must suck.