Accountable Tech on Meta’s $1.3 Billion EU Fine: “One of The Worst Violators of Privacy Laws”

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Last night on BBC News, Accountable Tech Co-Founder Jesse Lehrich weighed in on Meta’s record fine of $1.3 billion by the European Union after it found the company breached privacy laws:

“This is a consistent issue we’ve seen with Meta over the last decade plus, where their business model is premised on collecting enormous amounts of personal data and weaponizing it to do surveillance advertising for colossal profits,” Lehrich said. “When it comes to Meta, you heard how defiant Nick Clegg’s response was, and that’s been their M.O. over the last decade as they’ve gotten in trouble time and time again for violating and showing complete disregard for their legal and societal obligation.”

Lehrich continued, “It’s encouraging that the EU has ratcheted up its enforcement of GDPR, their privacy law, and its efforts to hold Big Tech accountable more broadly… But the incentive structure continues to be broken and these companies, Meta in particular – and you’ve seen it in other big companies like Apple and Google – where they would rather just continue to pay these slap-on-the-wrist fines and continue business as usual because you’re being fined a billion dollars and turning a hundred billion dollars in revenue a year. Why would you stop your profitable extraction and monetization of data? You wouldn’t. It underscores that we need real structural tools to force and change the incentive, or else these companies are just going to continue the bad behavior.”