Instagram, multa di 405 milioni di euro dall’UE: violata la privacy dei minori thumbnail

Instagram, fine of 405 million euros from the EU: the privacy of minors violated

Periodically, the tech giants get stings (and very high fines) from the control bodies, for excessive aggression on the market or for too casual use of user data.

And the question that arises every time is what lies at the basis of these curious “distractions”. If, but perhaps there is no doubt about it, insufficient knowledge of privacy regulations. Or rather a shrewd calculation of the costs and benefits of such violations.

Among the most recent sanctions, the one imposed on Google Analytics for allowing the transfer of European user data to the United States caused a sensation. After the sanctions by Austria and France, came that of our Guarantor for the protection of personal data.

Here it is the European Union, or more precisely the Irish Data Protection Commission, has sanctioned Instagram in recent days. The substantial fine amounts to 405 million euros. Let’s find out what happened.


The fine to Instagram

The fine was therefore imposed on Instagram by the Irish Data Protection Commission, the Irish privacy guarantor.

And the geographical location of the body that decided on such a fine is certainly not accidental. In fact, the European headquarters of Meta, the former Facebook group, is located in Dublin.

The 405 million euro fine to Instagram is motivated by the violation of the privacy of underage users.

The privacy of minors is violated

At the end of a two-year investigation, Instagram has been accused of a double violation of the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.

First of all, the social network also gave the possibility to young people aged between 13 (the minimum to have an account) and 17 years to create commercial accounts, which made the contact information of young users available to anyone. In addition, the default settings would also have made several private accounts of minors public.

This is the third fine, but the first in terms of amount, imposed on Meta by the Irish Data Protection Commission.

The first in order of time is last year: 225 million euros for the violation of privacy on WhatsApp. In March 2022, then, a fine of 17 million euros for the lack of data protection on Facebook.

The little glorious record of the heaviest fine in Europe, however, is still Amazon, with the 746 million euros imposed by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection.

Meta’s declaration

In an article published in Politico on Monday 5 September about the recent fine on Instagram, a statement from Meta is also hosted.

The leaders of the group said they will appeal. And they said that “this survey focused on the old settings that we updated over a year ago and we’ve since released many new features to help keep teens safe and their information private.

Anyone under the age of 18 automatically has their account set to private when they sign up for Instagram, so that only people they know can see the content posted and prevent adults from sending messages to minors who don’t follow them. “

Meanwhile, again according to Politico, the Irish Data Protection Commission would have another 6 investigations underway on companies in the Meta group.

The threat to remove Facebook and Instagram from Europe

The tug-of-war between the Irish Guarantor and the Meta group has been going on for several months now.

In an article from last February we photographed one of the most bitter moments of the battle. When the Meta group, in controversy with a problem similar to the one already mentioned for Google Analytics, had threatened to close Facebook and Instagram to European users.

Meta had railed against the preliminary order from the Irish authority, which wanted to prevent the company from transferring European data to the United States. And the reasons were just similar to those that moved Austria, France and Italy against Google Analytics. The transfer of European user data to the States, in fact, would be in open violation of the European GDPR.

The threat, to tell the truth, was then followed by a quick retraction by Meta. “We have absolutely no desire and no plan to withdraw from Europe. Simply Meta, like many other companies, organizations and services, relies on the transfer of data between the EU and the United States in order to offer global services. “

We will see what will be the reaction of the company led by Mark Zuckerberg to this huge fine against Instagram. Important from a symbolic point of view even more than from an economic one.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.