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WhatsApp fined $267M for breaking EU data privacy rules

The bloc is ramping up its enforcement of GDPR

WhatsApp fined $267M for breaking EU data privacy rules
Thomas Macaulay
Story by

Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC. Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC.

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The EU’s data watchdogs are starting to flex their muscles. Weeks after Amazon was fined a record €746 (886M) for breaching GDPR rules, WhatsApp has been hit with the regime’s second-highest penalty.

The €225m ($267m) fine was issued by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC). The body is Europe’s lead authority for WhatsApp owner Facebook, which has its EU headquarters in Ireland.

The DPC said that WhatsApp had infringed the EU’s transparency rules:

This includes information provided to data subjects about the processing of information between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies.

The watchdog also ordered the company to take “remedial actions” to ensure its data processing complies with the rules. WhatsApp said it would appeal the “entirely disproportionate” fine.

Regardless of the final decision, the EU may finally be turning its tough talk on data protection into action.

The bloc passed the landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) back in 2018, but critics say it’s been a blunt sword thus far.

Slapping Amazon and WhatsApp with big GDPR fines suggests it’s getting sharper.

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