Norway asks EU regulator to fine Facebook owner Meta over privacy breach

By Gwladys Fouche
OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s data regulator will refer the fine it has imposed on Meta Platforms to the European data authority, it said on Thursday, a move that could make the fine permanent and widen it to the European Union.

The owner of Facebook and Instagram has been fined one million crowns ($93,000) per day since Aug. 14, for three months, for breaching users’ privacy by harvesting user data and using it to target advertising at them.

So-called behavioural advertising is a business model common to Big Tech.

The Norwegian regulator, Datatilsynet, is now referring its decision to the European Data Protection Board, which could make the decision permanent if it agrees with the Norwegian regulator’s decision.

“Datatilsynet has asked the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for a binding decision in the Meta case,” the regulator said in a statement.

“In the request, we ask that the Norwegian temporary ban on behaviour-based marketing on Facebook and Instagram be made permanent and extended to the entire EU/EEA.”

Norway is not a member of the EU but is part of the European single market.

The decision comes after Meta unsuccessfully sought a temporary injunction against Datatilsynet’s fine.

Meta has said it had already committed to ask for consent from users and that Datatilsynet used an “expedited process” that was unnecessary and did not give the company enough time to answer.

Meta did not immediately reply to a request for comment regarding Datatilsynet’s decision.

The regulator has said that it was unclear when, and how, Meta would seek consent from users and that, in the meantime, users’ rights were being violated.

($1 = 10.7328 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; editing by Terje Solsvik)

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