WhatsApp Slapped With €225 Million Privacy Fine

Following a two-year investigation, Ireland has fined WhatsApp with a record €225 fine for privacy law breaches after the messaging platform failed to inform users how it was sharing data with parent company Facebook.

With the penalty coming in at more than four times the €50 million the regulator had initially proposed, WhatsApp’s fine marks one of the largest ever fines relating to GDPR law. The messaging platform has called the fine “entirely disproportionate” and has said it will appeal against the decision. 

Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner said that the fine was related to whether, in 2018, WhatsApp had followed EU data rules surrounding transparency. 

A spokesperson for the messaging platform said: “WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so. We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018.”

WhatsApp’s fine follows the European Data Protection Board advising the Irish watchdog back in July to address criticism from peers that it had not been harsh enough on other tech giants in the past. At present, the Irish regulator has over two dozen investigations into big tech organisations open. 

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