Ireland has fined Facebook-parent company, Meta, $402 million for the mishandling of teen data.
The fine comes after a two-year investigation that focused on Meta’s breached General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules. It is one of the largest fines to date under GDPR laws.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) is fining Meta for allowing young Instagram users (ages 13 – 17) to set up business accounts, thus making their information publicly available.
In response, Meta said that they “disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it.” The company also said that they updated their public-by-default setting more than a year ago. Now, anyone under 18 is automatically set up with a private account when they join Instagram.
The DPC has dozens of other ongoing investigations against Big Tech companies, several of them involving Meta’s data practices. Instagram’s algorithm has been particularly criticized for its policies related to children, including how it affects body image and self-esteem.