European Union regulators have fined Meta over a billion dollars for sending users’ data to the United States. Many companies operate using a free flow of data across the Atlantic, so the ruling will complicate other companies’ modes of business. Sam Schechner reports,
The steep fine represents a step change from EU privacy regulators, who are increasing their enforcement of the GDPR, the bloc’s privacy law, some five years after it came into effect. A board of EU regulators has taken more control over cross-border decisions—and has insisted on bigger fines, people familiar with the deliberations say.-Sam Schechner, Facebook Owner Meta Fined $1.3 Billion Over Data Transfers to U.S. – WSJ
Meta is not pleased with the decision, unsurprisingly, and thinks the EU has set a dangerous precedent for the many other companies that share data across the Atlantic. Schechner continues,
Meta said it would appeal the ruling and seek a stay to delay its suspension orders. “This decision is flawed, unjustified and sets a dangerous precedent for the countless other companies transferring data between the EU and U.S.,” Meta said in a blog post responding to the decision.
Meta, alongside many other U.S.-based tech companies, moves data from Europe to the U.S., where the company operates its main data centers to offer its services.
The worst-case scenario for Meta is if they have to stop offering services in the EU, which holds over 255 million Facebook users. The next few months, then, will be important as the situation continues to unfold.