EU Fines Meta $1.3B Over Data Privacy

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The Facts

  • On Monday, the European Union fined Meta's Facebook a record €1.2B ($1.3B) for "systematic, repetitive, and continuous" transfers of users' data from Europe to the United States.

  • The Irish Data Protection Commission, which acts on behalf of the EU, alleges Meta infringed on the EU's General Data Protection Regulation by failing to "address the risks to the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects" identified in the EU's Court of Justice.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

This fine is unfair as it singles out Facebook for using the exact legal mechanism thousands of US companies follow to provide services in Europe. Moreover, it sets a dangerous precedent for the countless tech firms transferring data between the EU and the US.

Establishment-critical narrative

As US intelligence agencies — through their close relationship with Big Tech — have used data transfers to collect European citizens' information, this is a big win for privacy. Meta should also count its blessings, as it's been breaking European law for ten years and could have been fined the maximum of $4B.

Narrative C

This is another example of policing the internet cloaked as providing "data safety" for European users. Though it strikes a blow against surveillance capitalism — which has become Silicon Valley's default model for capital accumulation — the fine is inconsequential for Europeans' rights as Meta will likely hold on to data it has moved unlawfully.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that the US will break up Meta Platforms no earlier than January 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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