United States tech giants can’t catch a break with Europe’s privacy watchdogs.
The Dutch data protection authority has the power to fine a company if it breaches the country’s privacy rules. On Monday, for example, the regulator said it would fine Google up to $18 million if the tech giant did not stop using people’s online browsing history and location data to sell customized advertising to specific individuals.
“We were surprised and disappointed to learn about the C.B.P.’s inquiry,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday. “We routinely review product and policy updates with our regulator, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, who oversees our compliance with the E.U. Data Protection Directive as implemented under Irish law.” Last week Instagram announced that it was going to crack down hard on spammers and fake accounts. One social-media marketer said that it would be “chaos” and speculated that over 10 million accounts could be deleted.