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WhatsApp slapped with second-largest GDPR fine of €225m

By Kirsten Doyle for ITWeb
Friday, September 3, 2021

Instant messaging and VOIP service WhatsApp has been hit with a whopping €225m fine after Ireland’s privacy watchdog found it had breached EU data protection rules.

No compensation

Ilia Kolochenko, founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network, believes that Facebook will appeal the ruling, and the fine will be significantly reduced in court as has been seen with other major cases.

“The judicial process to get a final and enforceable decision will likely take several years. It's very unlikely any Europeans, whose privacy rights were allegedly violated by WhatsApp, will get any compensation.”

He adds that privacy experts argue that GDPR does not serve its initial purpose of being a consistent pan-European privacy legislation that is capable of protecting personal data and detering privacy violations.

“Given the growing disagreement between European DPAs on GDPR enforcement priorities and imposition of penalties, these concerns become even more real today. Moreover, data subjects are reluctant to enforce their rights under GDPR as it’s always time-consuming and may require a complex and costly process to litigate for penny compensation if any.”

Kolochenko adds that GDPR is comprehensive and balanced, but its enforcement lacks teeth, and without an overhaul, impunity for GDPR violations will become the norm. Read Full Article

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