The social network Instagram, part of the Meta group that is also the parent company of Facebook, has been fined 405 million euros for insufficient protection of the data of minors. This is announced by the Irish Data Protection Commission, which speaks on behalf of the European Commission.
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“We made our final decision last Friday, which consists of a fine of 405 million euros. Details will be published next week,” said a representative of the Irish Data Protection Commission. It is the toughest decision imposed since 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation gave regulators more powers to protect consumers from the domination of Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter.
The Irish Data Protection Commission oversees Facebook on behalf of the EU, as that company has its regional headquarters in Ireland. The regulator had opened an investigation at the end of 2020 to determine whether the application had put in place the necessary safeguards to protect user data, especially if the users are minors. Users 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 could transition too easily to a professional account. This type of account requires users to make their contact details public, meaning they are visible to everyone on the social network. The regulator also accused Instagram that by default the content of the accounts of minors was open to all users at certain times and was not limited to only approved subscribers.
According to a spokesperson for Meta, the investigation looked at institutions that have changed in the past year, and the group plans to appeal.