On Thursday, it was revealed that messaging platform WhatsApp had been fined a whopping €225 million (US$267,337,400) by an Irish data protection regulator due to the platform’s privacy breaches.
Operating as an EU privacy watchdog, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) shared that the inquiry was made into whether WhatsApp conformed to EU data transparency rules in 2018, otherwise known as the GDPR.
This covered information “about the processing of information between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies,” the regulator states in its press announcement.
The European Data Protection Board stepped in at the end of July. This came after the Irish agency received criticism for allegedly delaying its decision in cases involving tech giants and letting them off with lighter fines than what was deserved.
After a “clear instruction” was issued by the board, the DPC was prompted to “reassess and increase” the proposed fine, which led to the final amount of €225 million.
It’s the highest fine issued by Ireland related to GDPR privacy regulations, and the EU’s second-highest.
Apart from paying up, the texting platform will also need to “bring its processing into compliance by taking a range of specified remedial actions.”
“We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate,” a spokesperson for WhatsApp is reported to have said in a statement to Reuters.
It’s stated that the company is filing for an appeal, but it appears to be watched very closely by regulatory firms and it’s doubtful that a lesser fine will be granted.
The Irish regulator DPC, according to Reuters, had 14 major inquiries into Facebook, including WhatsApp and Instagram, open at the end of last year.