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Ireland fines U.S. messaging service €225 million for GDPR violations

Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security Of Interest to Non-US Persons GDPR EU Data Protection

Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security

On September 2, the Irish Data Protection Commission (Commission) announced that a final decision was reached in a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) investigation into a U.S.-based messaging service’s handling of individuals’ personal information. The final Article 65 decision, published by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), imposes a €225 million on the company, and resolves an investigation into whether the company met its transparency obligations with respect to its data processing activities. The Commission alleged that the company violated provisions of the GDPR through the way it processed users’ and non-users’ data, as well as in the way it processed and shared data with other companies’ owned by the parent global social media company.

According to the final decision, “a number of concerned supervisory authorities” raised objections to aspects of the draft decision, taking issue, among other things, with the size of the proposed fine, which was originally set between €30 and €50 million. Because the Commission was unable to reach a consensus with the objecting concerned supervisory authorities, a dispute resolution process was triggered. The EDPB ultimately ordered the Commission to reassess and increase its proposed fine. In addition to imposing the administrative fine, the Commission also ordered the company “to bring its processing into compliance by taking a range of specified remedial actions.”