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Turkey Hits Meta with $37.20 Million Fine Over Data-Sharing Practices

 |  May 8, 2024

On Wednesday, Turkey’s competition board announced a hefty fine of 1.2 billion lira (equivalent to $37.20 million) against Meta Platforms, the parent company of popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Threads. This fine comes as a result of two separate investigations into data-sharing practices within Meta’s platforms.

The scrutiny began in December when the board initiated an investigation into Meta over potential violations of competition law, specifically focusing on the integration of its social media platforms Threads and Instagram. Following this, in March, the board implemented an interim measure aimed at curbing data sharing between the two platforms. Meta responded by announcing the temporary shutdown of Threads in Turkey to comply with the interim order, as reported by Reuters.

The competition board’s decision on Wednesday outlines a fine of 898 million lira for the compliance process and investigations into Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Additionally, Meta faces an additional penalty of 336 million lira for a separate investigation into Threads.

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In an effort to address concerns regarding data privacy, the board specified that users will now have the ability to merge personal data across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, provided they give their explicit consent. Furthermore, users will receive notifications regarding data usage and will retain the option to modify their settings later through an “accounts center” accessible on the platforms.

This is not the first time Meta has faced penalties in Turkey. In January, the company was fined $160,000 per day for failing to furnish adequate documentation as part of a previous investigation. Additionally, in March, Meta incurred a daily fine of 4.8 million lira due to a notification message related to data-sharing practices.

Source: Reuters