DUBLIN, IRELAND – On Monday, it was revealed that a 1.3 billion euro (1.3 billion USD) fine will be levied against the American tech firm Meta for GDPR violations stemming from the lapsing of the EU-US Privacy Shield in 2020.
The Irish Data Protection Commission is responsible for levying the fine, even though it disagrees with it, but must follow the binding decision of the European Data Protection Board, which evaluates violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Though negotiations between the United States and the European Union on a privacy framework are still ongoing, the EU decided to impose this record fine regardless.
Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the global consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center, responds:
“This retaliatory fine imposed by the EU — in the midst of privacy shield negotiations with the US — reveals the bloc is more interested in shaking down tech firms who deliver value to their users all the while providing no clear direction for global companies that already have millions of European users.
“A good faith effort to work with US officials on a privacy deal, who are constrained by their own institutions and laws, would have yielded a much better result for consumers on either side of the Atlantic,” added Ossowski.
“Instead, the EU is using ex-post-facto policing power that will likely diminish the online tech experience for European users and initiate a chilling in tech innovation on the continent.
“Once again, it seems the EU is responding to the changing face of innovation with bureaucratic committees and fines, rather than responsible and clear rules that anyone can follow.
“Rather than making Europe ‘fit for a digital age,’ these record fines and inability to work with global innovators demonstrates that the European Union is becoming an lone island of restrictive regulation and rule — and that’s at the expense of consumers,” concluded Ossowski.
The Consumer Choice Center is an independent, non-partisan consumer advocacy group championing the benefits of freedom of choice, innovation, and abundance in everyday life.
We champion smart policies that are fit for growth, promote lifestyle choice, and embrace tech innovation for tens of thousands of our members and society-at-large, using research and educational outreach to policymakers and the broader public. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.