F . CrewSeptember 15, 2022, 13:06:12 IST
South Korea’s PIPC or Personal Information Protection Commission, a branch of the government tasked with protecting personal information and the country’s privacy laws, has imposed a number of fines and Google Penalties and Meta due to violations of privacy laws in the country.
The fines total KRW 100 billion, or roughly $72 million. Google took the biggest hit, with a fine of KRW 69.2 billion, or about $50 million, while Meta was fined KRW 30.8 billion, or roughly $22 million or so. The two companies have been accused of not obtaining legitimate consent before collecting user information through third-party websites and apps.
PIPC in South Korea found that Google did not tell users that it would collect and use user behavioral data. Google was also blamed for setting the default option to “Agree” while making it difficult for users to opt out of data collection, by hiding other options behind the “More Options” button. PIPC noted that this was the opposite of what European users were seeing.
Meanwhile, Meta and Google have stated that they will take the necessary steps to appeal the PIPC’s decision. In a statement issued to some media outlets, Meta said: “While we respect the authority’s decision, we are confident that we are working with our clients in a manner that is compliant with the law and meets the processes required by local regulations. As such, we do not agree with the commission’s decision and will be open to all options. including seeking a court ruling.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters they disagree with the findings of the Korean PIPC, and will review the written decision once they have a copy. The spokesperson also added, “We have always demonstrated our commitment to making constant updates that give users control and transparency while providing the most useful products possible. We remain committed to engaging with PIPC to protect the privacy of South Korean users.”
Aside from paying the fine, Google and Meta have also been ordered to reformulate the consent dialogues in a way that complies with South Korea’s privacy laws.