Regulators are cracking hard on Big Tech. After a recent fine on WhatsApp for not conforming to EU data rules, Ireland has now fined Instagram for failing to protect the data of underage accounts. Ireland has levied a fine of 405 million euros which translates to $403 million dollars.
Instagram plans to appeal the fines and take the necessary steps to avoid the fine at all costs. The committee began an investigation in 2020 about how underage account holders on Instagram could convert their accounts into business accounts.
While the feature was extremely lucrative in a booming creator economy, Instagram failed to keep confidential information like phone numbers private. Exposing the personal data of underage kids on a public platform is the reason behind this huge Instagram fine.
Instagram Fined: More Details
Last year, WhatsApp was fined 225 million Euros, and now there is almost double the amount of fine on Instagram. Ireland houses the headquarters of all the big tech brands like Meta and its sister companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
EU has adopted a stern approach to how the companies operate and manage user data. Instagram’s spokesperson shared with Reuters that they had already rolled out massive improvements to the apps, which solved the personal data exposure problem.
However, this incident will put a huge dent in their revenue. While the exposure problem is fixed, it appears that the Irish regulator isn’t letting Instagram go with a slap on the wrist this time.
EU is cracking down hard on other companies too. For instance, it asked Apple to adopt USB Type-C as a common standard for charging. Despite heavy opposition, the regulators didn’t budge and asked all the device manufacturers to adopt USB Type-C for charging ports.
Recently, the EU regulators are proposing to make iPhone more repairable. Instagram plans to avoid the huge fine through appeal, but only time will tell if the regulators remove the fine.