Tech powerhouse Meta is required to pay a landmark penalty of €1.2 billion, equivalent to almost $1.3 billion, for violating EU privacy regulations. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) recently conducted research, discovering that Meta – Facebook’s parent company – has been sharing user data from European Union and Economic Area nations with the United States, even though such activity was outlawed in 2021.

As stated by Andrea Jelinek, the European Data Protection Board, in an unprecedented move, announced the substantial fine on Monday as a strong message to organizations, signaling that severe infractions will have significant consequences. While Meta, also the owner of Instagram and WhatsApp, intends to challenge the ruling, it plans to seek a suspension of the case in court.

In a joint statement, Jennifer Newstead (Chief Legal Officer) and Nick Clegg ( President of Global Affairs) expressed their concerns about the flaws and lack of sufficient justification, highlighting the possible adverse precedent it establishes for numerous firms engaged in data transfers between the US and EU. After a decade of court proceedings, an Austrian privacy advocate triumphed in their quest to nullify the existing U.S.-EU data exchange accord.

Furthermore, the DPC has given Meta an ultimatum to stop all data transmissions within the next five months and ensure that all European information saved in America is in accordance with their regulations in the following six months. This comprises photos, connections with contacts, personal messages, and data used for custom-made ads.

Negotiations for the Data Privacy Framework between the U.S. and EU are anticipated to be concluded this summer. Meta asserted in a statement that, if the agreement is signed off before the deadlines of the DPC pass, then their services will not be disrupted nor affected in any way for users.