Data protectionists are imposing a record fine of millions on WhatsApp

Data protectionists are imposing a record fine of millions on WhatsApp

Updated September 3, 2021, at 1:52 pm.

  • WhatsApp, a popular messenger service, is said to be paying a fine of 225 million euros.
  • This is in violation of the company’s European data protection regulations.
  • WhatsApp thinks the fine is too high and wants to defend itself against it.

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The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has imposed a record fine of 225 million euros for violating the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The company has violated EU’s strict data protection regulations regarding the transparency of the transfer of personal data to other Facebook companies. The Supervisory Authority has also directed the Messenger service, which belongs to the Facebook group, to change its data processing.

WhatsApp has announced legal action against the fine. “We do not agree with today’s decision,” the company said. This is “absolutely inappropriate”.

The fine for WhatsApp sets a new record

Irish privacy lawyers have never been fined this much before. Across Europe, the fines imposed on Amazon by data protectionists in Luxembourg will only exceed the fine. The Luxembourg Authority fined the Internet group 746 million euros this summer.

The Irish Data Protection Authority is responsible for the case, as Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp, has its European headquarters in Ireland. Since many major technology companies, such as Apple, Google, and Twitter, have their European headquarters in Ireland, DPC has recently been at the forefront of implementing the European General Data Protection Regulation.

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In the first response, data protection activist Max Shrems welcomed the decision in Dublin. However, the DPC has been receiving tens of thousands of complaints a year since 2018, and only now has it been fined heavily.

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Shrems recalled that the Irish initially only imposed a fine of 50 million euros. “Other European data protection authorities have forced you to increase the fine to 225 million.”

Even 22 225 million is still only 0.08 per cent of the Facebook group’s turnover, Shrems said. “GDPR imposes fines of up to 4% on sales. This shows that the Irish Data Protection Agency is still extremely inactive.”

WhatsApp surprised Ireland at the decision of the authorities to set aside only .5 77.5 million on the company’s balance sheet for possible fines.

“We have worked to ensure that the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive,” said RTE’s WhatsApp spokeswoman RTV, a public broadcaster in the Republic of Ireland. (dpa / afp / thp)

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