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Meta fined record $1.3 billion over user data transfers from EU to US

Meta has been fined a record 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) by European privacy regulators for transferring user data from the European Union to the UNITED STATES

The ruling relates to a case brought by Australian privacy campaigner Max Schrems, who alleged that the framework for transferring EU citizens’ data to America failed to protect Europeans from US surveillance.

Several mechanisms for the legal transfer of personal data between the United States and the EU have been challenged. The latest such iteration, Privacy Shield, was struck down by the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, in 2020.

Last year, the US and EU agreed “in principle” on a new framework for cross-border data transfers. However, the new pact has not yet entered into force.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which said Meta’s overseas operations in the EU, alleged the company breached the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it continued to send the personal data of European citizens to the United States.

The GDPR is the EU’s flagship data protection regulation that governs businesses operating in the bloc. It entered into force in 2018.

The €1.2 billion fine for Meta is the highest amount a company has ever been fined for violating the GDPR. The previous highest fine was a €746 million fine for e-commerce giant Amazon for breaching GDPR in 2021.

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