In a shocking turn of events, Meta was fined around $400 million (USD) for breaking the EU data privacy laws. Instagram, which is owned and operated by Meta, was charged with its alleged treatment of children's data.
Recently, the authorities in the US and the EU have been cracking down on what type of information about young people can be collected or shared online.
This fine of $400 million is one of the biggest fines ever charged by the EU. Furthermore, it also highlights the severity of the issue and the steps that must be taken by companies when it comes to the data of young users.
The use of the internet by young users is increasing, and as such, more regulation is needed to protect their data online. That's why policymakers around the world are now trying to ensure that any data of children remain safe and must follow the detailed guidelines. Recently, a similar law was passed in Britain as well.
In European law, special protections are given to the children's data... It all started when the relevant authorities started their investigation on the Instagram platform - This platform allowed young users (13 to 17 years old) to have business accounts and share their emails and phone numbers. Furthermore, the profile of these users was set to public by default.
All of these things were against the standards set by the EU laws, and as a result, a fine of around $402 million was imposed on the parent company of Instagram. A fine of such a scale (close to half a billion dollars) tells us that authorities around the world are really serious about the protection of children's data.
When Meta was approached for this matter, they expressed their desire to appeal the case. However, it would be a very lengthy legal process that could take a lot of time.
The company also claimed that it had made several features for the protection of young users. In fact, the company has already moved away from the old settings which were mentioned in the investigation.