LONDON (AP) - The European Union slapped Meta with a record $1.3 billion privacy fine Monday and ordered it to stop transferring users personal information across the Atlantic by October, the latest salvo in a decadelong case sparked by U.S. cybersnooping fears.
The penalty of 1.2 billion euros is the biggest since the EU’s strict data privacy regime took effect five years ago, surpassing Amazon’s 746 million euro fine in 2021 for data protection violations.
Meta, which had previously warned that services for its users in Europe could be cut off, vowed to appeal and ask courts to immediately put the decision on hold.
The company said “there is no immediate disruption to Facebook in Europe.” The decision applies to user data like names, email and IP addresses, messages, viewing history, geolocation data and other information that Meta - and other tech giants like Google - use for targeted online ads.
“This decision is flawed, unjustified and sets a dangerous precedent for the countless other companies transferring data between the EU and U.S.,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, and chief legal officer Jennifer Newstead said in a statement.
FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Oct. 28, 2021. European Union hits Facebook parent Meta with record $1.3 billion fine over transfers of user data to US. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
FILE - Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University, on Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. European Union hits Facebook parent Meta with record $1.3 billion fine over transfers of user data to US. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
FILE - Attendees visit the Meta booth at the Game Developers Conference 2023 in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 22, 2023. European Union hits Facebook parent Meta with record $1.3 billion fine over transfers of user data to US. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)