Facebook Facing $1.63 Billion EU Fine Over Recent Hack

Facebook's recent data breach scandal may have also violated Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Jessica Miley

An EU privacy watchdog is investigating Facebook’s recent data breach. If investigators find Facebook violated Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the company might face fines up to $1.63 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal

More than 50 million users were affected by the breach that was reported on Friday. Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) is reportedly investigating the breach and has demanded more information from the Silicon Valley-based company in relation to the nature and scope of the hack. 

GDPR yet to be tested

The General Data Protection Regulation is a set of stringent new privacy laws designed to protect user data of individuals within the European Union. The law that came into effect in May states that companies which don't sufficiently protect user data can face maximum fines of €20 million ($23 million), or 4% of the company's global annual revenue from the prior year, depending on which sum is larger. 

In Facebook's case, the maximum sum would be approximately $1.63 billion. The commission’s case will try and ascertain whether Facebook did enough to try and protect its user's data prior to the breach. 

The GDPR also requires companies to report to regulators any breach or potential breach within three days of the incident. Or else face a maximum fine of 2% of their global revenue. 

However, according to a Facebook transcript, the social network did at the very least notify the Irish organization on September 28th. The DPC acknowledged Facebook did inform them of the breach but said that the report lacked ‘detail’. 


90 million Facebook users required to log back into accounts

Facebook said they have reset the access token to almost 50 million accounts that they know were affected by the breach. In addition, Facebook says they have taken a precautionary step to reset access token for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” look-up in the last year. 

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