Dublin: Ireland’s data privacy regulator has agreed to levy a record fine of 405 million euros ($402 million) against social network Instagram following an investigation into its handling of children’s data, a spokesman said.
The investigation, which started in 2020, focused on child users between the ages of 13 and 17 who were allowed to operate business accounts, which facilitated the publication of the users’ phone number and/or email address.
“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of 405 million euro,” said the spokesman for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), which is the lead regulator of Instagram’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc.
Meta’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The DPC regulates Facebook, Apple, Google and other technology giants due to the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland. It has opened over a dozen investigations into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp.
WhatsApp was last year fined a record 225 million euros for failing to conform with EU data rules in 2018.
The Irish regulator completed a draft ruling in the Instagram investigation in December and shared it with other European Union regulators under the bloc’s “one stop shop” system of regulating large multinationals.
Full details of the decision will be published next week, the DPC spokesman said.