Instagram fined $402 Million
After an investigation into the handling of teenagers' data, Ireland's Data Protection Commission fined Meta EUR405million (or $402 million). According to Caolmhe McGuire, spokesperson for DPC, the fine and decision were made last Friday. The Verge reports that "full details" of the decision will be published next week.
The deadline given by the DPC to make a decision was at the end of the week. The two main areas of concern in the investigation were two years old. Instagram allowed young users aged 13-17 to create business accounts. This made their contact information public. Users often switch to business accounts to gain access to better engagement analytics. Instagram allegedly made some accounts public by default for young users.
Meta said in a statement to Politico that it updated the public-by-default setting more than a year ago, and that “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 company told the Associated Press that “we disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it.”
The way Meta — and Instagram in particular — handle the online experience if its youngest users has been under a huge amount of scrutiny in the last couple of years, thanks in part to Frances Haugen’s testimony about Instagram’s effect on mental health. Instagram has also simultaneously tried to build more products for those young users, which has been met with huge backlash. Instagram head Adam Mosseri has argued in favor of this work, though: “I have to believe parents would prefer the option for their children to use an age-appropriate version of Instagram — that gives them oversight — than the alternative,” he said last year. He promised to work with regulators to make that happen, and Meta said it also cooperated with the DPC’s recent investigation.Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has fined Meta €405 million
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