Norway’s Data Regulator Accuses Meta of Breaking Privacy Rules, Setting Potential European Precedent.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has come under fire from Norway’s data regulator for allegedly violating European data privacy regulations. In a significant case with broader implications, the company has been fined one million crowns ($94,145) daily since August 14th for its alleged misconduct involving user data exploitation for targeted advertising.
The practice in question, known as behavioral advertising, is a commonly employed business model by major tech companies. Seeking legal intervention, Meta is pursuing a temporary injunction to counter the imposition of the daily fine over the next three months.
The fine has been imposed due to Meta’s alleged failure to adhere to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as stated by Hanne Inger Bjurstroem Jahren, a representative lawyer from the regulator, Datatilsynet. During the two-day hearing’s final session, she emphasized that there is no ambiguity regarding the company’s violation of these rules and that Meta is currently in breach of GDPR.
In response, Meta had informed the court on the previous day that it had already committed to obtaining user consent and criticized Datatilsynet’s use of an “expedited process,” which it deemed unnecessary and inadequate for providing the company sufficient response time.
The crux of the issue lies in the uncertainty surrounding when and how Meta will seek user consent, leaving users’ rights reportedly compromised in the interim, according to the regulator.
The situation may escalate further if Datatilsynet chooses to escalate the matter to the European Data Protection Board, granting it the authority to solidify the fine’s permanence, should it align with the Norwegian regulator’s findings.