• Instagram was fined EUR405m for data privacy concerns of children

    Irish regulatory authorities have issued Instagram EUR405m for infringing on the privacy of children.

    The complaint that has been ongoing for a long time focused on children's personal data, specifically their telephone numbers and email addresses.

    A few users reportedly upgraded their business accounts in order to use tools for analytics, such as visits to profiles, and did not realise that it resulted in more of their personal data being publicly available.

    Meta, the owner of Instagram Meta, has announced plans to appeal the decision. This is the third time a fine has been handed out to the company by the regulatory body.

    "We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of EUR405m [PS349m]," Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) declared.

    'Engaged fully'

    A Meta official was quoted by BBC News: "This inquiry focused on the old settings that we had updated more than an entire year ago. We've recently released a variety of new features that help keep teens safe and their data confidential.

    "Anyone who is younger than 18 is private once they sign up to Instagram, and only those they trust can see the content they share, and adults aren't able to message teenagers who don't have an account.

    "While we have been fully engaged in dialogue with DPC throughout their investigation, We disagree with the way this fine was calculated and plan to appeal it.

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    "We're continuing to carefully review the rest of the decision."

    'Major breach'

    The DPC oversees major technology companies that have European offices in the Republic of Ireland.

    The company has never been able to pay the magnitude of a fine for a violation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.

    However, last year, it handed WhatsApp EUR225m, and Luxembourg's data authorities issued Amazon a record EUR746m.

    National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) Child-safety online policy chief Andy Burrows said of Instagram's penalty: "This was a major violation with important safeguarding implications as well as the potential for causing real harm to children who use Instagram.

    "The ruling illustrates the effectiveness of enforcement to protect children who use social media. It also confirms that regulation has already made children more secure online.

    "It's now over to the new prime minister to keep the promise to give children the strongest possible protections by delivering the Online Safety Bill in full and without delay."

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    Updated on 4:23-am September 10,2022

    Tags: Instagram, GDPR, Data protection