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Don't Judge Us on Our Fines, Meta's EU Data Watchdog Pleads


Logo of the Irish Data Protection Commission.

The warnings from the Irish Data Protection Commission's Helen Dixon come as her office is finalizing a potentially landmark decision that could paralyze transatlantic data flows and risk billions in revenue for Big Tech, as well as thousands of other com

Credit: Irish Data Protection Commission

Europe's groundbreaking privacy law risks being damaged if massive fines for Silicon Valley are the only yardstick for success, Ireland's beleaguered data protection chief warned.

Without agreed standards, "a narrative has emerged in which the number of cases, and the quantity and size of the administrative fines levied, are treated as the sole measure of success," said Helen Dixon, whose under-fire Irish agency oversees the many U.S. tech firms that made her nation their EU base.

Complex cases involving some of the world's biggest companies "impacting on millions of people" can't be measured "side by side with a two-line treatment of a comparatively simple issue that has minimal ramifications," she added.

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, empowers EU data regulators to levy penalties of as much as 4% of a company's annual revenue for the most serious violations.

From Bloomberg
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