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Instagram Hit With $592 Million Fine For Children’s Data Breaches

Social media giant Instagram has been hit with a record A$592 million fine for its mishandling of children’s data, which saw phone numbers and email addresses publicly displayed for those as young as 13.

The fine was handed out by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, after children between the ages of 13-17 were able to open business accounts, circumventing the usual privacy checks in place.

This marks the second highest fine ever handed out for breaching the EU’s privacy laws, following a A$1.16 billion fine handed out to Amazon last year.

Parent company Meta will appeal the decision.

“This inquiry focused on old settings that we updated over a year ago, and we’ve since released many new features to help keep teens safe and their information private,” a Meta spokesperson said.

“Anyone under 18 automatically has their account set to private when they join Instagram, so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t message teens who don’t follow them.

“While we’ve engaged fully with the DPC throughout their inquiry, we disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it. We’re continuing to carefully review the rest of the decision.”


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