Another breach yet another whopping fine imposed! WhatsApp has been penalized with a fine of 225 million euro ($266 million) which was imposed by the Irish data protection regulator on Thursday. Ireland was forced to increase the penalty for the company’s privacy breaches by The EU privacy watchdog.
In a statement, WhatsApp said that it found the fine “entirely disproportionate” and that it would surely appeal against it.
Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems, informed that the initial fine was 50 million euros.
Ireland‘s Data Privacy Commissioner (DPC), said the major reason behind the fine was the issues connected to with EU data rules about transparency and whether WhatsApp conformed it in 2018.
The Irish regulator said in a statement “This includes information provided to data subjects about the processing of information between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies”.
A WhatsApp spokesperson asserted in a statement that the company had already presented required information about the issues in question related to policies in place in 2018.
He added that they disagree with the decision regarding the transparency they provided to people in 2018 and found the penalties are entirely disproportionate”.
EU privacy watchdog the European Data Protection Board notified that it had given many reasons to the Irish agency in July to search and analyse about the issues, it waited for the result which was taking quite a long time to conclude the cases of tech giants and for not levying enough fine for any breaches.
Ulrich Kelber, Germany’s federal commissioner for data protection and freedom of information said that Europe’s landmark privacy rules, known as GDPR, are finally showing some good signs of progress even if the lead regulator for some tech giants appears otherwise.
He added in his statement that the many other open cases on WhatsApp in Ireland are finally nearing conclusion thus enabling them to take faster and longer strides towards the uniform enforcement of data protection law in Europe”.
A dispute resolution mechanism was accelerated by the Data regulators from eight other European countries after Ireland shared its provisional decision in context to WhatsApp inquiry, initiated in December 2018.
The Irish regulator had 14 major inquiries into Facebook and its alliances WhatsApp and Instagram.
Schrems declared that he would monitor the company’s appeal closely. He also added that this case would be presented before the Irish Courts and would be interesting to find out if the DPC actively defends this decision before the Courts, as it was forced to make such a decision by its EU colleagues at the EDPB.