South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) announced on Wednesday that it has fined Google and Meta billions of won over violations of its privacy law.
The authorities said in a statement that they imposed a fine of 69.2 billion won ($50 million) on Alphabet’s Google, and 30.8 billion won ($22 million) on Meta (formerly Facebook) for not clearly informing their users and getting their consent before collecting and tracking behavioral information to identify their interests and show them personalized ads.
Along with the fine, PIPC also ordered the companies to make necessary changes to correct the privacy law violations.
“While we respect the commission’s decision, we are confident that we work with our clients in a legally compliant way that meets the processes required by local regulations,’’ a Meta spokesperson said. ‘’As such, we do not agree with the commission’s decision, and will be open to all options including seeking a ruling from the court.“
A Google spokesperson commented on the decision: “We disagree with the PIPC’s findings and will be reviewing the full written decision once it’s shared with us. We’ve always demonstrated our commitment to making ongoing updates that give users control and transparency while providing the most helpful products possible. We remain committed to engaging with the PIPC to protect the privacy of South Korean users.”
Last year, Alphabet’s Google was also fined 207 billion won ($177 million at the time) by South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission for abusing its market dominance and harming competition in the Android ecosystem.
Today, Google has also lost its appeal against the EU’s record breaking $4 billion fine.