On May 22, Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) fined Meta 1.2 billion euros or around $1.3 billion for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on its Facebook platform. Now, seven out of the ten highest fines for GDPR breaches are attributed to Mark Zuckerberg's company. Additionally, Meta has now dethroned Amazon when it comes to the most significant amount of money a company had to pay in the history of the GDPR.
As our chart shows, the fellow GAFAM member held this questionable honor for around two years since July 2021, when Luxembourg's data watchdog issued the European branch of the multi-billion dollar tech firm a fine of roughly $806 million in current prices for the "non-compliance with general data processing principles" according to the GDPR Enforcement Tracker by CMS Law. The fifth place on the list of highest fines goes to WhatsApp, followed by Google and, once again, Facebook and Instagram violating the GDPR.
The regulatory framework of the GDPR aims to give users more control over their data – and lays the groundwork for fining companies offering their services in the EU for breaching its articles. The GDPR was instated on May 25, 2018, as a replacement for the EU's Data Protection Directive from 1995. So far, the GDPR Enforcement Tracker lists more than 1,600 individual breaches of the GDPR, although the data is most likely incomplete since not all fines are made public.