Earlier this summer, regulators in Norway slapped Facebook with a daily fine of nearly $100K for violating user privacy by harvesting data to target advertising. However, the country is now pressing to make that punishment permanent while also expanding it to cover the whole European Union.
If the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) takes this request seriously and ratifies it, it could have earth-shaking consequences for Facebook in Europe. And the regulatory group will move fast, saying it will issue a decision within two weeks of assessing the complaint.
“Meta is not respecting our decision in Norway and they continue to violate the law across Europe,” Norwegian regulator Tobias Judin told Reuters. “Over 250 million people are affected. Therefore, it is necessary to get a final decision from the EDPB so that we can force compliance on the European level.”
For its part, Facebook said it was taken aback by this drastic action, insisting that it’s already taking the steps necessary to deal with this issue.
“We are surprised by the Norwegian data protection authority’s actions, given that Meta has already committed to moving to the legal basis of consent for advertising in the EU/EEA,” a Facebook spokesperson said in response.
One way or the other, we’ll have an answer soon to how this will shake out. And if it doesn’t come down in Facebook’s favor, the company may have to dramatically rethink how it handles user privacy in Europe.
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