Google and Meta, formerly known as Facebook, have been fined 100 billion won ($72 million) by the South Korean Government for privacy violations.
According to a report by AP News on Wednesday, September 14th, South Korea’s Personal Information and Protection Commission has fined Google 69.2 billion won ($50 million) and Meta 30.8 billion won ($22 million) for tracking consumers’ online behavior without their consent and using their data for targeted advertisements.
South Korea’s privacy watchdog officials said that Google and Meta didn’t inform users or obtain their consent as they collected information to analyze their interests and create individually customized advertisements. The commission labeled both internet giants’ activities as “serious” privacy infringements.
In the press release, Personal Information and Protection Commission stated:
“Meta did not present the content of the consent in a way that could be easily seen by consumers when they signed up, and just included the content in their full data policy statement. It did not specifically inform consumers of the legally required notifications and did not obtain their consent.”
Google and Meta’s Response
Both Google and Meta have rejected the commission’s findings and Meta indicated it could challenge its fine in court. In a statement to the news outlet, Meta stated:
“We are confident that we work with our clients in a legally compliant way that meets the processes required by local regulations.”
Google said that it would review the commission’s findings once it receives the full written decision and work is underway on updates that provide users more control and transparency.