Instagram fined €405 million from Irish regulator for teenage data

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Irish data protection authority DPC fined Instagram €405 million. The DPC’s research focused on teens who were allowed to open business accounts and reveal their phone number or email address. Meta says she will appeal.

The Irish Data Protection Commission is not yet giving details about the decision, the authority only says against Reuters, among others Instagram will be fined as a result of the teen privacy investigation. This study started in 2020 and focused on children between the ages of 13 and 17.

Some teens are said to have upgraded their account to a business account to gain access to analytics tools. For example, teenagers could see how many views their profiles got. However, those teenagers would not have realized that they were revealing more data about themselves, writes the BBCwhich may include the phone number or email address.

Last Friday, the DPC made its verdict final. The DPC will announce more about the decision next week. It is the largest DPC fine for a Meta part. A year ago, WhatsApp received a GDPR fine of 225 million euros, because the company was not transparent about what data was shared with Meta.

Meta says it disagrees with the amount of the Instagram fine and how it was calculated. The parent company therefore plans to appeal. “This research focused on old settings that we modified a year ago and since then we’ve released many new features to help protect teens and their privacy,” Meta told the British public broadcaster. “Anyone under 18 automatically has a private account when they create an Instagram account, so only people they know can see what they’re posting and adults can’t message teens if those teens don’t follow them on the platform.”