Meta has been fined a record €1.2 billion by the Irish regulator for breaching European data protection regulations with social networking site Facebook.

Meta, which plans to appeal, was convicted because it “continued to transfer personal data” of European Economic Area users to the US, in breach of relevant European rules, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) said in its ruling. which acts on behalf of the EU.

Meta must also “suspend all transfers of personal data to the United States within five months” of the announcement of this decision and must comply with European data protection regulations within six months, the DPC added.

This sanction, which is the largest ever imposed by a data protection regulator in Europe, is the result of an investigation that began in 2020.

Meta reacted by calling the fine “unjustified and useless” and announcing that it will ask the court to suspend it.

“Thousands of businesses and organizations rely on the ability to transfer data between the EU and the US” and “there is a fundamental conflict of rights between the US government’s rules on data access, and European data confidentiality rights,” he continues. the California giant.

Meta hopes the US and EU will adopt a new legal framework for the transfer of personal data this summer, following an agreement in principle adopted last year.

This is the third fine imposed on Meta since the beginning of the year in the EU and the fourth in six months.

In January the DPC had fined the group a hefty almost €400m for breaches in the use of personal data for advertising purposes by the group’s Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, and then in March a fine of €5.5m for breached European data protection regulations with the messaging app WhatsApp.

Meta has since committed to changing its terms of use in Europe so that it can continue to collect and process personal data of its European users.

These sanctions are imposed in a context of strengthening judicial controls and procedures in the European Union, but also in the USA, against GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple), as well as the measures recently taken against the Chinese TikTok.

In 2021, Amazon was fined €746 million in Luxembourg for not respecting European data protection regulations.