Meta Data-Transfer: Enough to Address Privacy Concerns? (Q&A)


Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has been fined a record $1.3bn by European Union regulators for violating data protection laws. The company was found to have unlawfully sent the personal data of European users to the US. Meta has been given five months to stop sending European user data to the US and six months to bring its data operations into compliance by ceasing the unlawful processing and storage of European users’ personal data transferred in violation of the EU’s privacy rules. Meta plans to appeal what it calls a “flawed” and “unjustified” punishment. The fine follows a decade-long battle by privacy activists that started when US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden revealed tech giants knowingly handed data over to surveillance agencies. EU and US leaders are working on a new agreement on data flow that they say will allow essential data transfers while safeguarding civil liberties. However, campaigners fear US law enforcement authorities may still be able to access the data of EU citizens and say that people in the bloc should be given the same legal protections from surveillance as US citizens.