Meta's WhatsApp fined 5.5m euros by lead EU privacy regulator

WhatsApp said it intended to appeal the decision, and that it strongly believed that the way its service operates is both technically and legally compliant.

 Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen on smartpone in front of displayed logo of Facebook, Messenger, Intagram, Whatsapp and Oculus in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021 (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS ILLUSTRATION)
Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen on smartpone in front of displayed logo of Facebook, Messenger, Intagram, Whatsapp and Oculus in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021
(photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS ILLUSTRATION)

Meta's WhatsApp subsidiary was fined 5.5 million euros ($5.95 million) on Thursday by Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner (DPC) for an additional breach of the EU's privacy laws.

The DPC also told WhatsApp to reassess how it uses personal data for service improvements following a similar order it issued this month to Meta's other main platforms, Facebook and Instagram, which stated Meta must reassess the legal basis upon which it targets advertising through the use of personal data.

A spokesperson for WhatsApp said it intended to appeal the decision, and that it strongly believed that the way its service operates is both technically and legally compliant.

The Irish watchdog, which is the lead EU regulator for many of the world's top technology companies due to the location of their European headquarters in Ireland, directed WhatsApp to bring its processing operations into compliance within six months.

Past fines incurred by WhatsApp

 A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is placed on laptop keyboard in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021.  (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION) A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is placed on laptop keyboard in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

The DPC fined WhatsApp 225 million euros in September 2021 for breaches that occurred over the same period of time as the complaint dealt with on Thursday.

It has fined Meta 1.3 billion euros to date and has 10 other inquiries open into its services.