Meta seeks to stop privacy breach fine in Norway

Meta will ask a court in Norway on Tuesday to stop a fine the country's data regulator has imposed on the owner of Facebook and Instagram for breaching users' privacy

Published - August 22, 2023 11:30 am IST - OSLO

Meta Platforms is asking for a temporary injunction against the order [File]

Meta Platforms is asking for a temporary injunction against the order [File] | Photo Credit: AP

Meta Platforms will ask a court in Norway on Tuesday to stop a fine the country's data regulator has imposed on the owner of Facebook and Instagram for breaching users' privacy, in a case that could have wider European implications.

Since August 14, Meta Platforms has been fined 1 million crowns ($94,313) per day for harvesting users' data and using it to target advertising at them, called behavioural advertising, a business model common to Big Tech.

Meta Platforms is asking for a temporary injunction against the order, which imposes a daily fine through to November 3.

Meta said on August 1 that it intended to ask consent from users in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), the European single market, before allowing behavioural advertising.

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"We have already announced our intention to transition to the legal basis of Consent for personalised advertising for people in the EU and EEA," Meta said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Regulator, Datatilsynet, will defend the fine in court. It said that it was unclear when, and how, Meta would seek consent from users and that, in the meantime, their rights were being violated.

"Datatilsynet will argue that there is no basis for an injunction," Tobias Judin, the regulator's head of international section, told Reuters.

Datatilsynet could make the fine permanent by referring its decision to the European Data Protection Board, which has the power to do so, if it agrees with the Norwegian regulator's decision.

That could also widen the decision's territorial scope to the rest of Europe. Datatilsynet had yet to take this step.

The hearing at the Oslo district court will last two days.

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