Instagram hit with $400 million fine for failing to protect children

The Data Protection Commissioner has fined Meta's Instagram more than $400 million over its purported failure to protect children's privacy.

Instagram hit with $400 million fine for failing to protect children
2 minutes & 2 seconds read time

Instagram has been hit with a record-setting fine from the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), a supervisory authority for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Instagram hit with $400 million fine for failing to protect children 06

Meta's Instagram has been hit with a $405 million fine, marking one of the largest fines that the regulator has given. According to the decision, the fine was given after an investigation that began in 2020 concluded Instagram failed to protect the data of users aged between 13 and 17 years old, as an unknown number of users between the aforementioned age groups were able to use "business" or creator accounts on the platform, which enabled public access to underage users' private information such as email address, phone numbers, and engagement with adult-aged accounts.

It's unknown how many children were affected by this purported privacy breach, but according to a DPC spokesperson, more information will be released sometime next week. Meta fixed the issues that were brought up by the regulator a year ago, as explained by a Meta spokesperson who said that anyone who creates an account that's under the age of eighteen automatically has their Instagram account set to private, which means only people that individual knows can see their content. Furthermore, adults can't message teens who aren't following them.

Regardless of the fixes that have been rolled out, Instagram has a large fine on its head, one of the largest the company has seen. Instagram has said it plans to appeal the decision by the regulator. Notably, this is just one of six more investigations being conducted by the DCP, which means that Instagram may soon be facing more fines of this caliber.

In other social media platform news, rumors on hacking forums have pointed to a breach of TikTok's source code that has allowed an individual to gather information on more than two billion accounts. The incredibly popular app has denied the accusations made by cyber security analysts, with it writing on Twitter that an internal investigation conducted by TikTok's security team concluded that its source code has not been compromised.

In another hacking news, a group of Ukrainian hackers claimed they have baited Russian soldiers with images of attractive women.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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