Meta Platforms is set to incur a daily fine of 1 million krone beginning on August 14th due to privacy breaches, as reported by Norway’s data protection authority.
This decision can potentially carry significant implications across Europe, as reported by The Guardian.
The regulatory body, Datatilsynet, had previously announced on July 17th that Meta Platforms would face fines if it failed to address the privacy breaches the authority had identified. Despite this warning, Meta Platforms still needs to respond to the situation.
One of the primary concerns Datatilsynet raises is that Meta should not gather user data in Norway, including users’ physical locations, for targeted advertising, a practice commonly known as behavioral advertising—a prevalent business model among major tech companies. The deadline for Meta Platforms to rectify this issue and prove compliance was set for August 4th.
Tobias Judin, the head of Datatilsynet’s international section, told Reuters, “Starting next Monday, a daily fine of 1 million kroner will be imposed.” This penalty will remain in effect until November 3rd.
There is also the possibility that Datatilsynet could escalate the matter to the European Data Protection Board, which holds the authority to make the fine permanent if it aligns with the Norwegian regulator’s decision. This escalation could extend the decision’s impact to the broader European context, though Datatilsynet has yet to take this step.
In response, Meta recently announced its intention to seek user consent within the European Union before allowing businesses to target advertising based on user activity on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
However, Judin noted that this measure alone is insufficient. He emphasized that Meta must halt the processing of personal data immediately, and this suspension must persist until the consent mechanism is fully operational.
Meta acknowledged that implementing this change to address regulatory requirements in the European region will be a complex process that may take several months.
The company cited an order from Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, its primary EU regulator, issued in January and directed Meta to reevaluate the legal foundation for its ad targeting practices.
It’s worth noting that while Norway is not a European Union member, it remains part of the European single market. This situation underscores the growing emphasis on privacy regulations and the repercussions that tech giants like Meta could face for non-compliance.
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