Instagram fined €405M in Ireland for violating children’s privacy

Social media platform Instagram have been hit with a €405M fine by Ireland’s data privacy regulator for reportedly violating the privacy rights of children.

The long running complaint is in regard to children’s data, mainly their email addresses and cell phone numbers. Many children reportedly switched their account from personal to business, unaware that this made several of their details public.

Meta, who owns Instagram, has already said they plan to appeal the decision.

This is the third fine handed to the company by the regulator. The regulator fined WhatsApp €225m last year while Luxembourg’s data authority hit Amazon with a record €746m.

“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of €405m [£349m],” Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) said. “Anyone under 18 automatically has their account set to private when they join Instagram, so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t message teens who don’t follow them.”

The commissioner added, “While we’ve engaged fully with the DPC throughout their inquiry, we disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it. We’re continuing to carefully review the rest of the decision.”

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) child-safety-online policy head Andy Burrows issued a statement after Instagram were fined: “This was a major breach that had significant safeguarding implications and the potential to cause real harm to children using Instagram. The ruling demonstrates how effective enforcement can protect children on social media and underlines how regulation is already making children safer online.”

“It’s now over to the new prime minister to keep the promise to give children the strongest possible protections by delivering the Online Safety Bill in full and without delay,” Burrows said.

When asked for comment about the fine, the Ireland’s DPC acknowledged that it did issue the fine but opted not to comment further.




The following two tabs change content below.
Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

Leave a Reply