Meta fined for violating personal info protection law

SEOUL-- Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was fined by South Korea's data protection watchdog on Wednesday for allegedly disadvantaging its customers refusing to provide personal information.

The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC), a central administrative body, said it decided at a plenary meeting to impose a penalty of 6.6 million won (about US$5,240) on Meta.

Meta has been investigated by the PIPC over allegations that it blocks people from using Facebook and Instagram services if they refuse to provide their behavioral information, or a record of their activities on other online sites.

The commission said it has concluded that the behavioral information is not the minimum personal information required to provide Facebook and Instagram services and thus preventing people refusing to offer behavioral information from signing up and using the online services is a violation of the Personal Information Protection Act.

The commission also noted that the purpose of Facebook and Instagram is for users to know news about and communicate with friends, not to view customized advertisements.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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