Record South Korea fine on Google, Meta for privacy violations

SEOUL, 14 Sept 2022:

South Korea fined Google and Meta 100 billion won (almost US$72 million) today in gathering consumers’ personal data for internet advertising without their consent.

The privacy watchdog said in a statement that it approved a 69.2 billion won fine on Google and a 30.8 billion won charge on Meta, which runs Facebook and Instagram.

The Personal Information Protection Committee (PIPC) said it is “the largest penalty” imposed for violating South Korean privacy laws.

The commission found neither Google nor Meta had informed or obtained prior consent from users before collecting and using their data and online behaviour for targeted advertisements.

The two Silicon Valley companies used that data “to infer user interests for targeted advertising.”

According to the PIPC statement, more than 82% of Google users and more than 98% of Meta users in South Korea suffered privacy violations by the two companies.

It included browsing histories, app usage, and purchase history of users.

The watchdog ordered the two US tech giants to inform and obtain consent from their South Korean users on collecting and using their data.