Google and Meta fined $71.8 million

The South Korean Data Protection Authority (PIPC) ordered Google and Meta to pay a fine of $71.8 million (100 billion South Korean won) for violating the applicable privacy rules. The two tech giants are accused of collecting local users’ personal data without their consent. This would be the heaviest penalty imposed by South Korea for violating legal provisions relating to the protection of privacy.

Non-compliant business practices

The PIPC imposed a $50 million fine on Google and another $22 million fine on Meta following a meeting to discuss the two companies’ business practices in South Korea.

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According to the authority, the Mountain View firm did not ” clearly informed consumers that it would collect and use behavioral information relating to their use of other companies’ (services) at the time of their registration “. In essence, Google has hidden some options related to privacy and data usage in the settings, which could cause a serious breach of privacy.

For its part, Meta (parent company of Instagram and Facebook) did not play the card of transparency by displaying the information on the protection of personal information in the complete statement of the data policy. The commission believes that the company did not highlight the ” consent content » when registering.

Google and Meta refute the accusations

The two American companies are contesting the PIPC’s decision and are considering legal action to have their fines cancelled. Google representatives say the firm still offers users control and transparency. For Meta, this conclusion is unfounded since the company works with Korean customers in a manner that complies with the law and processes required by local regulations, a spokesperson said.

It should be remembered that the two behemoths have been convicted of personal data breaches on several occasions in recent years. In 2020, the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL) imposed a fine of 100 million euros on Google for having placed cookies without the prior consent of French users. Earlier this year, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) fined Meta €17 million under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which lays down rules for the use of confidential information in within the European Union. The sanction comes amid a user data breach that dates back to 2018.

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