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IDPC GDPR fines ‘only adding to Meta’s woes’

The ‘unexpectedly harsh’ penalty served out to Facebook owner Meta by Ireland’s data privacy regulator has wide-ranging consequences for the tech-giant, showing how national rulings can impact business on a global scale.

To recap, Meta has been fined EUR265 million ($275 million) by the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC), bringing its total data privacy fines in Europe to EUR1 billion ($1 billion);

Emma Taylor, Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Against the backdrop of mass layoffs and a rapidly sinking share price, the news of an additional fine represents another blow for Meta. Although the company claimed to have changed its policies since the data leak, the IDPC has been understandably harsh with its penalty.

“Ireland’s position in regulating Big Tech has increased, as Meta, Google, TikTok, and Twitter all now have offices there. Looking at its track record, Meta being hit with yet another fine is unsurprising. It would only be surprising if it were the last.”

Sarah Coop, Analyst at GlobalData, added: “Meta is on a losing streak. Privacy breaches damage consumer trust, which is already dwindling for Meta. Its central social media platform, Facebook, is struggling to attract younger users due to strong competition from other platforms like TikTok. The company has also reportedly lost $9.4 billion on its metaverse business unit and has recently restructured, laying off 11,000 employees.

“GDPR fines are simply collateral damage for Big Tech. While fines can be large, at up to 4% of global turnover, most Big Tech consider it the cost of doing business. However, consumer confidence will be important for the metaverse, and cybersecurity breaches and data privacy fines further taint Meta’s already tarnished reputation.”

Irish Government planning to monitor social media

Ireland’s Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has issued a controversial tender for firms that can supply it with social media monitoring services.

As reported by the, whoever wins the contract will monitor keywords on social media platforms and provide analysis in email updates or digests.

While it’s not clear exactly what will be monitored or how it will be reported, the initiative has raised concerns among privacy campaigners.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties said it could have a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression, while Digital Rights Ireland questioned whether it was legal.

News of the social media monitoring plans actually emerged from a wider tender that the Irish Government put out that also required print and broadcast media monitoring.

It’s thought the contract will encompass up to 6,500 articles per month, split between 4,500 from print media and 2,000 from digital media. says print media analysis will be provided in a digest each morning and digital media updates will be provided at regular intervals throughout the day.

The broadcast media service involves providing email updates showing the relevant coverage on all national, regional, and local radio and television stations across Ireland.