The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has fined WhatsApp Ireland a record 22 225 million 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.
Data protectionists have also criticized the processing of mobile phone numbers. The company has revised its data protection declaration since the procedures began. The Supervisory Authority has directed the Messenger service, which belongs to the Facebook group, to change its data processing.
WhatsApp defends itself
A company spokesman said WhatsApp was trying to provide a secure and private service. “We have worked to ensure that the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive, and we will continue to do so.” One does not agree with the DPC’s current decision regarding transparency given to the people in 2018. The penalty is not entirely proportional. A WhatsApp spokesperson said: “We will appeal against this decision.
Irish privacy spokesmen have never before imposed such a large fine. Across Europe, the penalty against Amazon is higher than the penalty notice imposed by data protection officers in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg Authority fined the Internet group 746 million euros this summer.
The Irish Data Protection Commission DPC oversees not only WhatsApp’s Lead Supervisory Authority in Europe, but the entire Facebook group. She is also responsible for other US tech giants such as Apple, which has their European office in Ireland.
The decision was welcomed by a Facebook reviewer
In the first response, data protection activist Max Shrems welcomed the decision in Dublin. However, since 2018, the DPC has received tens of thousands of complaints a year, and only now has it imposed large fines. Shrems recalled that the Irish initially only imposed a fine of 50 million euros.
“Other European data protection authorities forced you to increase the fine to 225 million,” said Noib, founder of the European Data Protection Organization (“your business is nothing”). Even 225 million euros is still only 0.08 percent of the Facebook group’s turnover, Shrems stressed. “GDPR fines up to 4 percent of sales. All this shows that the Irish Data Protection Agency is still very dysfunctional. Shrems hopes the legal dispute that is now expected will actually take years to pay the fine.
The decision by the authorities shows how shocked WhatsApp Ireland was by imposing a fine of just .5 77.5 million on the company’s balance sheet.
(dsc / sda / dpa)
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