May 23, 2023

Facebook owner Meta hit with record $1.3bn data-breach fine 

May 23, 2023

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In a significant blow to Facebook owner Meta, the social media giant has been hit with a record-high fine for mishandling user information.  

The fine, imposed by Ireland and the European Union (EU), highlights the increasing scrutiny faced by tech companies regarding data privacy.  

Today, CMTrading delves into the details of the fine and its implications for user data-driven platforms going forward.  

Meta mishandles user Information 

Meta has been fined by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) for its failure to adequately protect user data. The DPC, the leading privacy watchdog in the EU, imposed a fine of $1.3 billion on Facebook/Meta after an investigation into the company’s practices. 

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The fine, despite being record-breaking for the EU, is less than 10% of Meta’s profits of $28.65 billion posted in Q2 2023.  

The investigation revealed that Meta had violated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by failing to provide transparent information about its data processing activities. The company was also found to have infringed upon user rights, including the right to access and rectify personal data.  

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The EU-US Data Flows Decision 


In addition to the fine imposed by the DPC, Meta has been facing challenges regarding the transfer of user data between the EU and the United States. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in 2020 that the Privacy Shield framework, which allowed data transfers between the EU and the US, was invalid due to concerns over US surveillance practices.  

This decision left tech companies, including Facebook/Meta, in a precarious position, as they had to find alternative methods to ensure the lawful transfer of data. Facebook/Meta’s ability to transfer user data from the EU to the US was under scrutiny, with concerns raised about the adequacy of protection provided to EU citizens’ data.  

The Impact of the Fine on Facebook/Meta  

The fine imposed by Ireland and the EU serves as a stern warning to Meta and other tech giants about the importance of safeguarding user data. It reflects the increasing regulatory pressure and calls for stricter measures to protect individuals’ privacy rights.  

The fine is not only a financial setback for Meta but also has the potential to damage its reputation. As one of the world’s most influential social media platforms, Facebook has faced numerous controversies surrounding its handling of user data in recent years. This fine further underscores the urgent need for the company to prioritize user privacy and regain public trust.  

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Furthermore, the fine highlights the significance of the GDPR in holding tech companies accountable for their data practices. The GDPR, implemented in 2018, has empowered regulators to impose substantial penalties on companies found to be in violation of the regulation.  

This signals a shift toward greater accountability and transparency in the tech industry.  

Global Data-Selling Businesses 

The case of Meta’s mishandling of user information is not an isolated incident. It sheds light on the broader issue of data-selling businesses that operate on a global scale.  

According to recent statistics, the global data-selling market is booming:  

  • In 2022, the global data market was valued at approximately $116 billion. 
  • By 2025, the market is projected to reach a staggering value of $278 billion. 

Data brokers, who collect and sell consumer data, generate billions of dollars in revenue annually. 

Facebook generates a significant portion of its revenue through targeted advertising, fueled by user data. 

The global data market has experienced tremendous growth and transformation over the years, becoming a lucrative industry that fuels the digital economy. As businesses increasingly rely on data-driven strategies, the demand for data and related services has surged, shaping the landscape of the global data market. 

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Growing business worth $116 billion 

In recent years, the data market has expanded exponentially, both in terms of its value and the volume of data generated. According to reports, the global data market was valued at approximately $116 billion in 2022. This staggering figure represents the significant economic potential of data and its various applications across industries.  

One of the driving factors behind the growth of the data market is the increasing digitization of our daily lives. With the proliferation of internet-connected devices, social media platforms, e-commerce, and smart technologies, massive amounts of data are generated every second. This data encompasses a wide range of sources, including online transactions, social media interactions, sensor data, and more.  

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The availability of such vast and diverse data has led to the rise of data-driven decision-making in businesses. Companies now rely on data analytics and insights to gain a competitive edge, optimize operations, and enhance customer experiences. As a result, there is a growing demand for data-related services, including data storage, processing, analysis, and visualization tools.  

Advancements in technology, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, have significantly contributed to the growth of the data market. These technologies enable businesses to extract valuable insights from large datasets, automate processes, and drive innovation.  

Data-market ecosystem 

In addition to the increasing demand for data, the market has also witnessed a surge in the number of data brokers and data-driven businesses. Data brokers collect, aggregate, and sell consumer data to various organizations, including marketers, advertisers, and researchers. These businesses play a pivotal role in the data market ecosystem, facilitating the exchange of data between different entities.  

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The evolution of data privacy regulations has also influenced the dynamics of the global data market. The implementation of regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States has placed greater emphasis on data protection and privacy rights. These regulations have prompted businesses to reassess their data practices, adopt stricter compliance measures, and prioritize user consent and transparency.  

The future of data selling 

Looking ahead, the global data market is projected to continue its remarkable growth. Reports suggest that by 2025, the market could reach a value of $278 billion, driven by the increasing adoption of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and IoT technologies across industries.  

In conclusion, the global data market has experienced substantial growth and transformation, driven by the increasing demand for data-driven decision-making, technological advancements, and the rise of data-driven businesses. As the digital economy continues to expand, the value and significance of data will only continue to grow, shaping various aspects of our lives and industries worldwide. 

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Trading involves a significant risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. It’s important to understand the risks and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if necessary.

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