Ireland has fined Instagram more than $400 million for compromising private information of minors. The case raises concerns over online safety of children on popular social media platforms.
Why Instagram Was Fined
As reported on arstechnica.com, Ireland fined Instagram 405 million Euros for “violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and failing to safeguard children’s information.” The penalty comes after a 2-year-long investigation into complaints against Instagram for making contact information of minors publicly available. The fine amounts to a little over $400 million and is one of the largest to date under the GDPR.
Prior to Instagram, its sister platforms Facebook and WhatsApp have also been fined in Ireland over similar breach of privacy complaints. Facebook was fined 17 million Euros in March while WhatsApp was fined 225 million Euros last year.
WION reported that Instagram’s parent company Meta disagrees with the fine and plans to appeal it.
Facebook in Cross-Hairs of Scandals
Facebook has been embroiled in many political scandals over the years and its active political censorship of conservative voices has resulted in its stained reputation as well as loss of revenue. In February, Facebook reportedly lost $200 billion in market value after Meta tumbled in the Stock Market.
In late August, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on record in a video interview with Joe Rogan to admit that Facebook colluded with the FBI to suppress the story of Hunter Biden laptop scandal before the 2020 election.
On Friday, a court in Washington ruled that Meta had “repeatedly and intentionally” violated Washington’s campaign-finance transparency law and must pay penalties for the violation. Meta has refused to comply by the law that requires ad sellers to disclose the names and addresses of those who buy political ads. Violation of the law can result in financial penalties of $10, 000 per violation. According to Washington Attorney General’s Office, Facebook has committed hundreds of such violations since 2018.