Instagram is facing a €405 million fine after European Union privacy regulators reached a conclusion on a complaint about how the social media platform manages children’s data. The fine is for violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The complaint bordered on account setting for teenagers and underage users and on the platform’s processing of children’s data for business accounts, as well as a user registration mechanism that the DPC discovered might result in child users’ accounts being set to “public” by default, unless the user adjusted the account settings to “private.”
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, argued that the inquiry focused on outdated settings that they modified over a year ago, and they’ve since implemented several new features to help keep kids safe and their information private.
“When someone under the age of 18 joins Instagram, their account is automatically switched to private, so only individuals they know can see what they post and adults can’t message kids who don’t follow them.”
What you should know
The DPC oversees significant technological companies with European headquarters in Ireland. It has never imposed such substantial penalties for a violation of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.
However, WhatsApp was fined €225 million last year, and this fine is the third one the company has received.