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Meta, Google to Pay Crores in Fines Over Privacy Law Violations in South Korea: Details

Google and Meta must reportedly pay a fine of several billion South Korean won imposed by authorities in South Korea on Wednesday. The fines were imposed by a privacy panel after the firms failed to clearly inform users and obtain their consent to collect data on their interests for tailored advertisements based on their behaviour, according to a report. On Wednesday, Google also lost an appeal in a European court that upheld a 2018 fine from a European Union (EU) regulator for abusing its dominant position in the market.

South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) on Wednesday said that it had fined Google and Facebook parent Meta KRW 69.2 billion (roughly Rs. 400 crore), and KRW 30.8 billion (roughly Rs. 180 crore), respectively, according to a report by Reuters. The companies were reportedly accused of collecting data based on users’ interests for behaviour-based targeted advertising, without informing them or obtaining their prior consent. 

As per the report, Google stated that it disagreed with the PIPC’s decision and would review the written decision, while Meta said it did not agree with the commission’s decision and would be open to all options, including seeking a ruling from [a South Korean] court.

On Wednesday, Google faced another blow after the second-highest court in the EU ruled in favour of the European Commission, which had levied a fine on the search giant in 2018 over the use of its Android operating system to give its search engine an advantage over the competition.

While the EU’s General Court slightly reduced its fine by 5 percent to EUR 4.125 billion (roughly Rs. 32,800 crore) from EUR 4.34 billion (roughly Rs. 34,200 crore), Google will still have to pay a record fine for an antitrust violation.

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