back to article Ireland fines Meta $414m for using personal data without asking

A legal saga between Meta, Ireland and the European Union has reached a conclusion – at least for now – that forces the social media giant to remove data consent requirements from its terms of service in favor of explicit consent, and subjects it to a few hundred million more euros in fines for the trouble.  The Irish Data …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    I think it's time to fine the DPC

    It's clear they are not doing their work. Maybe what is happening in Brussels will also shine some light on "lobbying" efforts in other parts of EU.

    Anyway, a lot of thanks to NOYB as usual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think it's time to fine the DPC

      Why, who do you think they work for?

  2. jonathan keith

    Let a thousand and one conspiracy theories BLOOM!

    ... although I'd genuinely love to know the full, unvarnished truth behind the Irish DPC's attitude and decisions concerning Zuckerberg and all his little shit-weasels.

    Hopefully in due time a (team of) plucky investigative reporter(s) will uncover and publish the facts - and also before any relevant statues of limitation expire.

    1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

      Re: Let a thousand and one conspiracy theories BLOOM!

      "I'd genuinely love to know the full, unvarnished truth behind the Irish DPC's attitude"

      Brown* coloured envelopes!

      *Other colours may be available.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: Let a thousand and one conspiracy theories BLOOM!

        Other items may be coloured brown amongst the DPC's "elite" now:

        “I believe he’s just discovered what shirt-tails are for."

    2. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: Let a thousand and one conspiracy theories BLOOM!

      There's nothing wrong with a conspiracy theory, so long as it's not touted as fact. Of course, if the facts are withheld, theory is all that remains: the DPC [stated] that it would be withholding release of the full decision... WTAF?

      ...the DPC said that it believed Meta wasn't required to rely on consent, but that the EDPB took "a different view" told us off and explained we should stop believing interpreting legislation to suit our co-conspirators (*ahem!).

  3. steamnut

    A very Liberal attitude..

    You would think that Meta, aka Facebook, would be more careful, bearing in mind their appointment of Former deputy prime minister and Yorkshire Liberal MP Nick Clegg as their president?

    He gave many speeches on citizens' rights as an MP and Liberal Party leader.

    As a liberal MP Clegg would abhor any abuse of citizen's personal data without their consent? Clearly, if you give someone a big enough pay-check they throw their moral values in the bin.

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: A very Liberal attitude..

      Oh, steamy, your irony! If I thought you believed your own words, and were not an honest and sardonic commentard, I'd strongly suggest career in politics!

    2. jonathan keith

      Re: A very Liberal attitude..

      You reminded me of this, which was written in 1961 by a sociologist, and references an old but timeless joke (attributed variously and incorrectly to George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx, Mark Twain, W.C. Fields, Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, Woodrow Wilson and others):

      To put this in a different way, all our actions have a price. It is we who decide at what point we agree to be bought. As in the story of a conversation between a very sophisticated gentleman and a very respectable lady at a party. They are talking about prostitution, “Well,” says the gentleman, “just for the sake of our argument, suppose I offered you $1000—would you spend the night with me?” The lady, smiling coquettishly: “Who knows—I might very well!” The gentleman: “Now suppose I offer you $10 for the night?” The lady: “But what do you think I am?” The gentleman: “We’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”

      1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

        Re: A very Liberal attitude..

        After this exchange, the gentleman wandered onto the balcony, from where he was heard to exclaim to himself:

        "Blown the chance of another definite shag again you bloody idiot!"

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: A very Liberal attitude..


      Sorry, I fell off my chair laughing.

    4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: A very Liberal attitude..

      You might start to ask, what's the point of Nick Clegg? It's defined here ...

    5. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: A very Liberal attitude..

      Clearly, if you give someone a big enough pay-check they throw their moral values in the bin.

      Bearing in mind that all it took for him to do that in 2010 was a slight sniff of power, I don't think we should be surprised.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a points sytem

    Like with driving offences. When a company (e.g. Meta) racks up enough adverse judgments, they have to turn it off until it's fixed.

    (Someone one said about the US Citizens United ruling: "I'll believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one")

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: How about a points sytem

      Apply the points to the people involved, in addition to your suggestion. Which is to say: one needs to be licensed to hold a executive position. It's ridiculous, I know, but we've already excluded imprisonment and fines. The organisation's revenue stream is the attack vector: either via loss of advertising revenue, or better, shareholders withdrawing (those that give a fuck about more than dividends (ha!)). With the individual exec, they are labelled: executive-non-grata, for future potential stakeholders to peruse.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meta / Meat

    It’s all a con guys.

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: Meta / Meat

      So, a con carne...

      [Mine's the one with the bag of bhut jolokias in the pocket.]

  6. James Anderson

    Makes you wonder ....

    Why the old country went through all that BREXIT ballocks when it's clear there is no "EU tyranny" as member states choose which laws to obey and while collecting all available Dosh.

  7. Apprentice of Tokenism

    Oh yes

    390 million Euros is really going to teach ‘em a lesson.

    1. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: Oh yes

      Works out to about 1 day's profit I think?

    2. Pseu Donyme

      Re: Oh yes

      The fine is kind of minuscule considering the scale of the breach and that it is a rounding error in Meta's finances. There is a provision in the GDPR for increased fines for repeated violations though, so maybe this can be considered an initial slap on the wrist. What worries me more is that the appeal will probably take years to get through the courts while Meta does its best to make it so and continues as they were; I suspect the order to change their ways within three months is put on hold on appeal as well as the fine (?). Fortunately there is a parallel case by NOYB / Max Schrems on its way to the CJEU already:

  8. Auntie Dix

    Ireland Got Paid for Its Complicity

    "According to Schrems, the penalty being paid out by Meta will go to Ireland, 'the state that has taken Meta's side and delayed enforcement for more than four years.'"

    Thanks to Schrems for leading the good fight.

    If only the U.S. government gave a damn about privacy, Fecesbook and the like never would have metastasized.

    1. eldoc

      Re: Ireland Got Paid for Its Complicity

      Lots of folks have zero trust in the US government but will happily share their lives with the likes of Meta. So, all the US government needed was to strike a deal to use the likes of Meta as a back door. Simples. Then they can get all the data they want with minimal effort.

      1. mickaroo

        Re: Ireland Got Paid for Its Complicity

        Governments don't even need to collect the data. The sheeple GIVE it to them.

  9. First Light Silver badge

    Embarrassing . . .

    As an Irish person, I find this kowtowing to foreign (usually US) companies highly embarrassing. I'm also shocked that the DPC is contemplating going to the Court of Justice over this, it's a bloody disgrace.

    The NOYB link below has even more egregious details about DPC's behaviour. It looks like the job of enforcing the GDPR should go to another country.

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