Based on the EU privacy laws, Ireland placed a 225-million-euro fine on Facebook’s messaging service WhatsApp due to privacy breaches. This happens after the European Union demanded the penalty be increased. So, Ireland agreed, as privacy breaches should not go unpunished.
EU privacy laws are not a joke
In fact, the other European regulators asked Ireland to “reassess and increase its proposed fine on the basis of a number of factors.” As a result, “the DPC has imposed a fine of 225 million euro on WhatsApp,” said Ireland’s Data Protection Commission.
Ireland is home to the European headquarters of Facebook, which was fined 267 million euros for not complying with the EU’s GDPR. Ireland also hosts the European headquarters for many other tech companies that have been brought to task by the DPC for not complying with GDPR.
The government agency launched a probe in December, 2018 to examine whether WhatsApp has been transparent with its users. The probe looked into the messaging app’s GDPR obligations, particularly about how it shares data with other Facebook companies.
A long debate for a big fine
The DPC submitted their initial decision to other European regulators last December. With the requirement of other CSAs, they couldn’t come to a consensus. In June, a dispute resolution process began. In August, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted a binding decision that instructed the DPC to increase the fine.
The DPC also reprimanded WhatsApp for not complying in the past. They ordered WhatsApp to take a series of actions to comply, including changing how it processes data.
The tech giant feels a lot of pressure lately. Last month, Brazil decided to force a change of WhatsApp privacy rules. Thus, Facebook is now forced to adjust its policy with the rules that the European Union already has in place.