Twitter and Facebook could be facing billions in fines after Ireland investigations. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has concluded investigations into Facebook’s WhatsApp and Twitter over possible breaches of EU data privacy rules. The investigations will now move into the decision-making phase, according to Graham Doyle, head of communications for Ireland’s DPC. During this next phase, Ireland’s chief data regulator, Helen Dixon, will issue draft decisions, which are expected to come toward the end of the year.
If the DPC pushes for the maximum fine, it has the potential to do more harm than good. It is necessary to penalize companies for leaving their customers\’ data unprotected and a penalty should help with future protection. However, it must always match the breach. If it’s too high, it could reduce the incentive for companies to report breaches promptly – or in some cases, at all.
Society needs to know about data breaches as soon as possible so people can be in control of their information and act quickly in changing their passwords or setting up fraud alerts. If companies are hesitant to report attacks in fear of fines into the billions of pounds, this could, in turn, harm consumers.