back to article Norway to hit Meta with fines over Facebook user privacy from next week

Norway's data protection authorities are to proceed with fines against Meta over privacy violations against its citizens, to the tune of 1 million Norwegian kroner (about $98,500) per day from August 14. The Norwegian data protection authority Datatilsynet warned last month that it was imposing a temporary ban on Meta's …

  1. Julz


    says, "Meta has already committed to what Datatilsynet is asking for (consent), but it cannot simply flick a switch to comply, the company said".

    But it could flick a switch and not offer it's products in jurisdictions in which they do not comply with the local laws as is the case with companies producing physical products.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Meta

      But your honour, I have to keep selling those drugs in the short term. I mean I have agreed to stop selling these illegal drugs, but I cant just flick a switch and that stockpile in my stash will just disappear. It takes time to get rid of that backlog, and the quickest way is if you allow me to keep illegally selling these drugs. Once the stash is gone, I'll stop, honest!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meta

          The issue there is not selling an addictive product, but selling the personal information of addicts to advertisers...

    2. OhForF' Silver badge

      Re: Meta

      Meta should be very much aware that this is what the GDPR mandates and not what Datatilsynet is asking for.

      Given that noyb filed the first complaint about Meta not complying with the rules in 2018 they had plenty of time to prepare that "switch to comply".

      "Due process" is what allowed them to keep doing what they do and claim it is ok for different reasons but while that bought them time (and more than it should have) it doesn't last forever.

      Meta is running out of time and excuses to collect all that juicy data without informed consent.

  2. Filippo Silver badge

    Less than 1%

    The fine is very small, but it sets a precedent. Once the notion that nonconsensual behavioral advertising is illegal becomes a well-established fact in tribunals, the road is paved for the fines to start climbing.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Less than 1%

      Fines need to be based on percentages of global annual turnover. It's the only way to ensure that nobody's big enough to ignore them providing, of course, that regulators apply them at appropriate levels.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Less than 1%

        Another way is to double the fine every day, after a few weeks a small fine would scale to multi-billion dollar penalties.

    2. Captain Hogwash

      Re: Less than 1%

      Even if they remain small they could be significant in aggregate once countries follow the Norwegian example.

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    Tell the ISPs to block access to Facebook

    That will get Zuck's attention. It will also benefit the Norwegan economy as less time will be wasted there.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Tell the ISPs to block access to Facebook

      UK DPA 1.0 gave the Information Commissioner the power to forbid processing data. This would be the equivalent for online businesses. I don't know if the IC ever used it but it's the nuclear option.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tell the ISPs to block access to Facebook

        The you just outsource the processing of data to an external company, and you are in the clear?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Tell the ISPs to block access to Facebook

          The external company could be hit with a similar instruction, applying to all its processing, even for other customers. That wouldn't propagate very far, nor be repeated.

        2. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Tell the ISPs to block access to Facebook

          Don't think that would work as the company it was contracted to would only be a data processor - the one who it was being done for would remain the data controller.

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Tell the ISPs to block access to Facebook

      That would never happen in a democracy - too many votes would be lost if you stop the electorate viewing cat pictures!

  4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Do I hear a tiny violin playing?

    Ah no, it's just my usual tinnitus.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much per day

    Doubling the weeks total x 2….etc

  6. Cuddles

    "as The Register has previously pointed out, even if the fine is imposed for the entire three month period of the temporary ban, it will add up to a fraction of 1 percent of Meta's Q1 2023 profits"

    And as apparently needs to be pointed out every time this nonsense comes up, comparing legal action in a single, quite small, country to a company's global profit is utterly meaningless. Facebook has about 3 billion users. Norway has a population a little under 5.5 million. Even if every single person there has a Facebook account, Norwegians would still make up less than 0.2% of Facebook users, and presumably also around that proportion of their profits. Which would make the total fine after three months equal to about 20% of Facebook's yearly profit in Norway. Which doesn't seem all that unreasonable really. The point of fines is to change a company's behaviour, not to simply drive them out of business, whatever your personal views on the benefits of doing so may be.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      But equally, just continuing to pay the fines can't be a way for companies to just carry on ignoring the law and any legal rulings - there has to be a way to escalate it if they continue to show no signs of complying.

      1. CatWithChainsaw

        Fines have to hurt or jail time has to hurt, those are the languages C-suites speak.

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