Irish Watchdog Fines WhatsApp $ 266 Million “Serious” Privacy Law Violations


The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) fined WhatsApp Ireland a record € 225 million ($ 266 million) for violating data protection rules on September 2. Other Facebook companies.

Sanctions on Facebook-owned messaging services are the largest fine ever imposed by DPC and the second largest fine ever imposed on an organization under EU data law.

Ireland’s DPC, Facebook’s leading data privacy regulator in the European Union, addressed issues related to whether WhatsApp complies with EU data rules on transparency and how information is processed in 2018.

The DPC investigation began on December 10, 2018, and WhatsApp fulfilled the transparency obligations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the provision of information and the transparency of that information to both users and non-users of the service. I investigated whether it was.

“This includes information provided to data subjects regarding the processing of information between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies,” an Irish regulatory agency said in a statement.

The DPC completed its investigation last year and, at the request of the GDPR, submitted a draft decision to all relevant supervisory authorities (CSA) for consideration.

The WhatsApp app can be seen on the smartphone in this figure taken on July 13, 2021. (DadoRuvic / Illustration / Reuters)

The DPC subsequently received objections from eight CSA and was unable to reach an agreement with the authorities on the subject of the objections, including a DPC fine of up to € 50 million ($ 59 million), and settled the dispute on June 3. The process has started. , 2021.

The case was referred to the European Data Protection Commission (EDPB) on July 28, 2021 because the DPC was unable to reach an agreement with other regulatory agencies on how to proceed.

The decision “includes clear instructions requiring the DPC to reassess and increase the proposed fines based on many factors involved in the EDPB’s decision,” the DPC said. I did.

Following this, DPC fined WhatsApp € 225 million.

In addition to imposing administrative fines, the DPC has ordered WhatsApp to take various corrective actions to ensure that its processing is in compliance and has imposed disciplinary action.

WhatsApp said the fines are “totally imbalanced” and attractive.

“WhatsApp is committed to providing secure and private services. We have worked to ensure that the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive, and will continue to do so,” WhatsApp said. Spokesman told Reuters.

“I disagree with today’s decision on transparency that I provided to people in 2018, and the penalties are completely imbalanced,” a spokesman’s statement added.

The appeal can be filed either in the Irish High Court or directly in the European Court of Justice.

As of the end of last year, Irish regulators have made 14 major inquiries to Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Catabella Roberts