Norwegian Data Regulator Accuses Meta of Breaking European Privacy Rules
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is currently facing accusations of violating European data privacy regulations in Norway, according to statements made by the country's data regulator in court on Wednesday. This case could potentially hold broader implications within Europe.
Since August 14, Meta has been subject to a daily fine of one million crowns ($94,145) for its alleged breach of user privacy, involving the collection of user data for targeted advertising purposes. This practice, known as behavioral advertising, is a common strategy among major tech companies.
The Norwegian data regulator, Datatilsynet, maintains that Meta has failed to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), thus rendering the fine valid. Hanne Inger Bjurstroem Jahren, a lawyer representing Datatilsynet, asserted that there is no debate over whether the company has violated these rules. She stated, "Today Meta breaks GDPR rules," during the final day of a two-day hearing.
In response, Meta sought a temporary injunction against the fine, arguing that it has already committed to seeking user consent and accusing Datatilsynet of employing an unnecessary "expedited process" that didn't allow the company sufficient time to respond.
The primary contention centers around the uncertainty surrounding when and how Meta intends to obtain user consent. Datatilsynet contends that this lack of clarity is resulting in the violation of users' rights.
If the European Data Protection Board, which possesses the authority to do so, concurs with Datatilsynet's verdict, the fine could potentially become a permanent fixture. This case underscores the ongoing tension between tech giants and data protection authorities as they grapple with privacy regulations in the digital age.