WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 4

  • WhatsApp has been slapped with a record fine for breaking privacy and data protection laws in the EU.
  • It’s the largest ever fine by the Irish regulator.
  • The messaging platform will appeal the “disproportionate fine.”

In a record fine doled out to Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, EU regulators have asked the company to cough up €225 million (~$267 million) for breaking the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.

WhatsApp’s huge fine comes courtesy of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), the lead data privacy regulator for Facebook in the EU region. In a lengthy summary describing its order, the DPC said that WhatsApp failed to provide adequate information to its users about how the company shares information with Facebook and its related companies.

The messaging platform has been ordered to update its privacy policy to ensure users are clear about data sharing practices. The Irish regulator has also reprimanded WhatsApp and asked it to take “a range of specified remedial actions.”

The initial fine on WhatsApp was supposed to be €50 million (~$59 million). However, it was later revised to €225 million after other data protection agencies asked for a heftier penalty.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has called the fine “entirely disproportionate.”

“WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so,” a spokesperson told The Verge.

The service will appeal the DPC’s decision and the case is expected to be before the Irish courts for years to come.