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Google and Meta Fined for Violating Privacy Law in South Korea

    Google and Meta violated privacy law in South Korea and they were hit with a fine of ~$71.8 million

    According to the watchdog, Google and Meta didn’t get valid authorization from users when they collected data for personalized adverts from their website visitors, other websites, and apps.

    In the long run, Google didn’t provide users with a clear explanation of the collection and use of users' behavioral data when they signed up for its service and set the default choice to "agree" while hiding other options available via the setting screen. 

    Meta was also found to have broken the laws governing the privacy of personal information.

    As a repercussion, the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) fined Google ~$50 million and Meta ~$22 million and imposed businesses to stop the violations.

    This is the largest fine ever imposed in South Korea for breaking the country's privacy regulations, and the first punishment for the gathering and use of behavioral data on platforms for targeted online advertising.

    International watchdogs have penalized Google and Meta for breaking data privacy laws in recent years quite a lot. 

    • The French data protection watchdog fined Google $57 million under the GDPR in 2019.
    • Facebook was fined $550 million in 2020 for failing to meet BIPA requirements when collecting personal data through photo tagging.
    • In 2021, WhatsApp was hit with €225M privacy fine for failings of transparency under EU data protection laws.
    • Google was fined $100 million in June 2022 for collecting facial recognition data through its Photos app.
    • The Irish data authority fined Instagram €405 million for violating children's privacy this month.
    • Facebook was fined €17M for breaching EU data privacy laws in 2022.

    Most people share data without giving it much thought. They provide information to businesses by purchasing merchandise, signing up for email lists, downloading apps, and other activities. They also expect the respective businesses to keep those details private.

    Unfortunately, the businesses in question frequently fail to meet the challenge, exposing valuable data. 

    As you can see, the violation of privacy laws can result in massive fines and eroded public trust.