Which social media giant was fined a record $1.3B by the EU for violating privacy rules? answered

Which social media giant was fined a record $1.3B by the EU for violating privacy rules?

The options that are given for this Bing homepage quiz are listed below:

A Meta
B Twitter
C TikTok

The correct answer is Meta.

See The Reason for That answer below:

The European Union has imposed a record-breaking $1.3 billion privacy fine on Meta (formerly known as Facebook) and has ordered the company to cease transferring users’ personal data across the Atlantic by October. This development is the latest development in a long-standing legal battle triggered by concerns over U.S. cybersnooping. The fine surpasses the previous record set by Amazon in 2021 for data protection violations.

Meta has announced its intention to appeal the decision and seek immediate court intervention to halt its implementation. The company clarified that there would be no immediate disruption to Facebook services in Europe. The ruling specifically pertains to user data such as names, email addresses, IP addresses, messages, viewing history, geolocation data, and other information utilized by Meta, as well as other tech giants like Google, for targeted online advertising.

Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, and Chief Legal Officer, Jennifer Newstead, criticized the decision, stating that it is flawed, unjustified, and establishes a perilous precedent for numerous other companies involved in data transfers between the EU and the U.S.

The legal battle originated in 2013 when Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed a complaint regarding Facebook’s handling of his personal data following Edward Snowden’s revelations of U.S. surveillance activities. This included the disclosure that Facebook had provided U.S. security agencies access to Europeans’ personal data.

The case has highlighted the discord between Washington and Brussels concerning the disparities between Europe’s stringent data privacy stance and the comparatively lax regulations in the U.S., which lacks a federal privacy law. The EU has been at the forefront of regulating Big Tech’s power, implementing a series of regulations that require them to enforce stricter platform monitoring and safeguard users’ personal information.

The EU previously invalidated the Privacy Shield agreement, which governed EU-U.S. data transfers, in 2020 due to concerns over the U.S. government’s surveillance activities. The recent decision confirmed that another mechanism for governing data transfers, known as stock legal contracts, is also invalid.

While a new version of the Privacy Shield was negotiated between Brussels and Washington, its adequacy in protecting data privacy is currently under review by European officials. EU lawmakers have called for improvements, emphasizing that the existing safeguards are insufficient.

The fine imposed by the Irish Data Protection Commission, acting as Meta’s lead privacy regulator in the EU, is due to Meta’s European headquarters being based in Dublin. Meta has been given a five-month period to halt the transfer of European user data to the U.S. and six months to ensure compliance by ceasing the unlawful processing and storage of European users’ personal data in the U.S.

The order to delete the data presents a significant challenge for Meta, potentially outweighing the financial penalty. Erasing data for hundreds of millions of EU users spanning a decade is a formidable task. Meta has expressed that if a new transatlantic privacy agreement is established before the deadlines, their services can continue without disruption or impact on users.

Max Schrems believes that Meta has little chance of materially overturning the decision, and even a new privacy pact may face rejection by the EU’s top court. Schrems suggests a potential solution could be a “federated” social network, where European data remains within Meta’s European data centers unless users engage with contacts in the U.S.

Meta has warned in its latest earnings report that without a legal basis for data transfers, it may be compelled to halt its products and services in Europe, significantly impacting its business, financial condition, and operational results. Should the transfers cease, Meta would likely need to undertake an extensive and costly restructuring of its operations. The company currently operates 21 data centers, with the majority located in the U.S., while others are situated in European and Asian countries.

Other social media giants, such as TikTok, are also facing scrutiny over their data practices. TikTok has attempted to address Western concerns about potential cybersecurity risks associated with the Chinese-owned platform by storing U.S. user data on Oracle servers through a $1.5 billion initiative.

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Which social media giant was fined a record $1.3B by the EU for violating privacy rules?