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Norway To Fine Meta $97k Per Day For Using User Data To Target Ads

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Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s owner, will be fined one million kroner ($97,000) per day, from August 14 onwards, said the Norwegian data protection agency, Datatilsynet.

On Tuesday, the Norwegian watchdog stated that Meta will have to pay a fine of about  $100,000 per day for using the private information of the users to target ads.

The fine was connected with a decision that was finalized on July 14, wherein the agency had imposed a short-term “ban on behavioral advertising on Facebook and Instagram”, said Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet’s international department.

In an email, Judin informed Agence France Presse (AFP) that “Meta’s behavioral advertising entails intrusive surveillance of its users, negatively impacting their right to data protection and freedom of information”, and mentioned that there were several defenseless and exposed users on the platform, including “young people, the elderly and people with cognitive disabilities.” He continued, “We are also concerned that sensitive personal data may be used for advertising purposes. We have therefore found that Meta’s practices are contrary to data protection law.”

Datatilsynet has imposed a ban on the platform on July 17 and gave Meta time till August 4 to omit its errors, it informed.

“The coercive fine is issued because Meta has not yet complied with our ban,” Judin said.

The social media company said in its defence last week, that it asked the permission of its users in the European Union, EEA (European Economic Area), and Switzerland before running such ads on its platform.

In January, European regulators rejected the “legitimate interest” that Meta used to explain the reason for compiling users’ private information to run target-oriented ads.

This was considered a “positive change — but personal data continues to be processed unlawfully in the interim”, Judin said.

A spokesman for Meta told AFP the company was appealing the decision by the Norwegian watchdog, saying they believed they had already committed to the consent the authority was asking for.

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