After a decade of litigation and mere moments after the largest GDPR fine levied to date became public, Facebook Meta vowed to fight the decision of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.
In the company’s response to the long-awaited decision, Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs and Jennifer Newstead, Chief Legal Officer, announced Facebook intends to appeal both the decision’s substance and its orders — including the 1.2 billion euro fine the company characterizes as “unjustified and unnecessary.” Facebook also intends to seek a stay through the courts to pause the six-month implementation deadline imposed on Facebook to stop storing European Union user data in the EU “given the harm that these orders would cause, including to the millions of people who use Facebook every day.”
While the fine is significant, it pales by comparison to Facebook’s Q1 2023 revenue of $28.10 Billion — which was higher than the $27.66 Billion expected, and up 3% year-over-year. Even when compared with the relatively paltry net earnings of ‘only’ $5.7 Billion, the history-making fine is unlikely to be more than a line item in its financials.
As Max Schrems, who initiated the complaint and subsequent legal challenges noted, “The fine could have been much higher, given that the maximum fine is more than 4 billion and Meta has knowingly broken the law to make a profit for ten years.”