Personal data: Instagram fined $528 million

Personal data: Instagram fined $528M


The social network Instagram, a subsidiary of the Meta group, the parent company of Facebook, was fined a record 405 million euros (about 528 million Canadian dollars) for processing failures minors' data, the Irish regulator, which acts on behalf of the European Union, announced on Monday.

“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it foresees a fine of 405 million euros. Details will be released next week,” a representative of the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) told AFP.

This decision is the most severe imposed by this authority since 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) gave regulators more power to protect consumers from the dominance of Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), equivalent to the French CNIL, supervises on behalf of the EU Facebook, since the latter has its regional headquarters in Ireland.

The regulator had opened a investigation at the end of 2020, to determine whether the application had put in place the necessary safeguards to protect user data, especially if they are minors, when you must be at least 13 years old to open an account on Instagram.

The DPC was particularly concerned that users under the age of 18 were too easily able to switch to a professional account. This type of account requires users to make their contact details public, which means that they are visible to everyone on the social network.

The regulator also criticized Instagram that the content of minors' accounts has been open by default at certain times to all users and not restricted to only approved subscribers.

A spokesperson for Meta told RTE media that the group intended to appeal, stressing that the investigation had looked at settings changed for a year.