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WhatsApp hit with $267 million GDPR fine

By Steve Zurier for SC Media
Friday, September 3, 2021

Facebook’s WhatsApp on Thursday was fined an estimated $267 million (225 million euros) by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for alleged violations of the EU’s GDPR privacy regulations.

Ilia Kolochenko, founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network, said that on appeal the fine will likely be significantly reduced, as has been the trend in many of these cases. Kolochenko added that the judicial process to get a final and enforceable decision should take several years, and it’s not likely that any Europeans whose privacy rights were allegedly violated will get any compensation.

"Many privacy experts argue that GDPR does not serve its initial purpose of being a consistent pan-European privacy legislation capable of protecting personal data and deter privacy violations,” Kolochenko said. “The situation in the U.S. is even more complex. There’s no federal privacy law, but a convoluted patchwork of state legislation pioneered by California. Companies in the U.S. have to comply with dozens of similar, but diversified state laws and also pay attention to industry-specific federal laws such as HIPAA. The Facebook case will unlikely have major impact on U.S. companies operating in Europe, as this case seems to be more political than operational.” Read Full Article

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