Google, Meta FINED about US$72 million in South Korea for data breach

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FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen in front of displayed Google logo in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen in front of displayed Google logo in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

South Korea’s data protection authority has fined Google and Meta Platforms a combined KRW100 billion ($71.8 million) for violations of privacy laws in their use of personal user information.

Google faced the largest fine by the country’s Personal Information Commission, with the internet giant on the hook for KRW69.2 billion (almost US$50 million). The remaining KRW30.8 billion (US21.8 million) was slapped on Meta Platforms.

In a translated statement, the authority accused the companies of “illegal collection of personal information” describing the activity as being related to “the collection and use of behavioural information of an online customised advertising platform”.

The fines are the first levied of this type for these offences, it noted.

In comments to Yonhap News Agency Meta Platforms denied any wrongdoing and said it would assess its options in response. Google told the news agency it would work with authorities on the issue of data protection.

The fines are the latest crackdown on US tech giants imposed by authorities in the country and come after a lengthy row over app payments, which Google was also at the centre of.

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