AP

South Korea fines Google, Meta over privacy violations

Sep 14, 2022, 12:53 AM | Updated: 9:22 pm

Yang Cheongsam, an investigation and coordination bureau director-general of the Personal Informati...

Yang Cheongsam, an investigation and coordination bureau director-general of the Personal Information Protection Commission speaks at the Government Complex in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. South Korea’s privacy watchdog has fined Google and Meta a combined 100 billion won ($72 million) for tracking consumers’ online behavior without their consent and using their data for targeted advertisements. (Shin Hyun-woo/Yonhap via AP)

(Shin Hyun-woo/Yonhap via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s privacy watchdog has fined Google and Meta a combined 100 billion won ($72 million) for tracking consumers’ online behavior without their consent and using their data for targeted advertisements.

South Korea’s Personal Information and Protection Commission said it fined Google 69.2 billion won ($50 million) and Meta 30.8 billion won ($22 million) after a meeting where officials agreed that the companies’ business practices might cause “serious” privacy infringements.

The fines were the biggest ever penalties imposed by South Korea for privacy law violations, the commission said in a press release.

Both companies refuted the commission’s findings and Meta indicated it could challenge its fine in court. The fines can be appealed through administrative lawsuits, which must be filed within 90 days after the companies are formally notified of the commission’s decision.

According to the commission, Google and Meta, which operates Facebook and Instagram, didn’t clearly inform users or obtain their consent as they collected information about their online activities when they used other websites or services outside their own platforms. Such data was used to analyze their interests and create individually customized advertisements, the commission said.

The commission ordered the companies to provide an “easy and clear” process of consent giving people more control over whether to share information about what they do online.

“Google did not clearly inform consumers that it would collect and use their behavioral information about their use of other companies’ (services) when they signed up,” the commission said.

“Meta did not present the content of consent in way that could be easily seen by consumers when they signed up, and just included the content in their full data policy statement. It did not specifically inform consumers of the legally required notifications and did not obtain their consent.”

The commission said the companies’ practices seriously threatened privacy rights as more than 82% of South Koreans using Google and more than 98% using Meta have let the companies track their online activities.

Google, a search and email giant that also operates the YouTube video platform, disagreed with the commission’s findings. It said in a statement that it has always demonstrated a commitment to “making ongoing updates that give users control and transparency.” The company said it will review the commission’s findings once it receives the fully written decision.

Meta said it will consider “all options,” including seeking a court ruling.

“We are confident that we work with our clients in a legally compliant way that meets the processes required by local regulations,” Meta said in an emailed statement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

21 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

22 hours ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump agree to hold presidential debates in June and in September

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to hold two campaign debates, on June 27 hosted by CNN and on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

South Korea fines Google, Meta over privacy violations