Instagram fined $402M over publicisation of children's data

Instagram plans to dispute the $402 million fine imposed by the authorities in Ireland as it disagrees with how it was calculated.
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The authorities in Ireland have imposed a $402 million fine on Instagram for its data privacy practices regarding users under the age of 18. This would be a record fine if Instagram's parent company, Meta, fails in its appeal.

Reported by Reuters, the investigation has been ongoing since 2020. The Irish authorities tracked business accounts of teenagers on Instagram, and saw that the company was making their email addresses and/or phone numbers public. The investigation was focussed on accounts run by 13 to 17-year-olds.

A Meta spokesperson told Reuters that the company disagrees with how the fine was calculated, and is reviewing the decision carefully. Additionally, they mentioned that Instagram updated its settings a year ago to update privacy settings to keep teenagers and their data safe.

Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) oversees the country's many tech companies who are subject to data protection laws. Ireland is home to the European corporate offices of many big tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Meta.

The DPC has over a dozen active investigations open into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp. They fined the latter a record €225 million last year for failing to comply with the European Union's data rules in 2018.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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