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Meta faced with daily $100K fine over privacy breaches

Facebook and Instagram owner Meta will be fined one million crowns ($100,000) per day over privacy breaches unless it takes remedial action, Norway's data protection authority said.

Regulator Datatilsynet said it would charge the fine daily from August 4th until November 3rd unless Meta takes action. In total, the daily fines could add up to $10 million.

It said that Meta could not harvest user data in Norway, such as users' physical locations, and use it to target advertising at them. This is called behavioral advertising and is a business model common to Big Tech.

"It is so clear that this is illegal that we need to intervene now and immediately. We cannot wait any longer," Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet's international section, told Reuters.

Meta said it would review Datatilsynet's decision and that there would be no immediate impact on its services.

Datatilsynet has referred its move to the European Data Protection Board, which, if the latter agrees, could make the fine permanent and widen the decision's territorial scope in Europe.

"It would put additional pressure on Meta," said Judin.

Datatilsynet's decision comes days after the European Union's top court ruled that Meta cannot harvest user data for behavioral advertising.

In December, the data regulator in Ireland (DPC), where Meta has its European headquarters, said the firm had to stop the practice.

"We continue to constructively engage with the Irish DPC, our lead regulator in the EU, regarding our compliance with its decision," Meta said.

"The debate around legal bases has been ongoing for some time, and businesses continue to face a lack of regulatory certainty in this area."

Norway is not a member of the European Union but is part of the European single market, meaning the move could have broader European implications.

In late May, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) hit Meta with a record-breaking €1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) fine over the company’s handling of user information and was given five months to stop transferring user data to the United States.

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