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Sunday June 16, 2024

Facebook owner Meta faces million-crown daily fine in Norway over privacy violations

In response, Meta says it will seek user consent within European Union before enabling businesses to employ targeted advertising

By Web Desk
August 08, 2023
Facebook owner Meta faces million-crown daily fine in Norway over privacy violations. Screenshot of a YouTube/AFP story
Facebook owner Meta faces million-crown daily fine in Norway over privacy violations. Screenshot of a YouTube/AFP story

Norway's data protection authority, Datatilsynet, has announced that Meta Platforms, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, will face a daily fine of one million Norwegian crowns ($98,500) starting from August 14 due to privacy breaches. 

The regulator had previously warned Meta on July 17 that such fines would be imposed if the company didn't address the identified privacy breaches.

The main issue at hand involves Meta's practice of harvesting user data in Norway, including their physical locations, to target behavioral advertising – a common strategy among tech giants. The regulator emphasised that this practice is not permissible in Norway. Meta had until August 4 to prove that it had rectified the privacy breaches but did not respond immediately to the regulator's request for comment.

The daily fine, set to last until November 3, can potentially become permanent if Datatilsynet's decision is referred to the European Data Protection Board and receives agreement. This action could extend the consequences to the entire European region. Despite this possibility, Datatilsynet has not yet taken that step.

In response to these developments, Meta recently announced its intention to seek user consent within the European Union before enabling businesses to employ targeted advertising based on user activities on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This change in approach is a response to regulatory requirements in the EU and is tied to a directive from Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, Meta's primary EU regulator.

While Norway is not a member of the European Union, it is part of the European single market, making its data protection regulations interconnected with EU policies.