Data Not Secure

The world of Instagram may put out an aura of perfection to some, a platform for influencers to spread their message, and a place where people can share their lives with the world. The company Meta, however, Instagram’s parent company, has come under some hot water recently in Ireland. Irish regulators have agreed to fine Instagram a record-shattering $402 Million for the mishandling of data. This mishandled data is that of children ages 13 to 17. According to the investigation conducted by the Data Protection Commision of Ireland, these children were able to operate business accounts on Instagram, which exposed both phone numbers and email addresses. According to a study done in 2019, over 60 million kids could easily change their profile to a ‘business account’ for which Instagram required the public display of their email address and/or phone # in app. Today, millions of people have their phone and or email shown.” 

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Instagram will be fighting this decision, stating that they have implemented safety measures to protect the app’s younger users. According to the Washington Post, “Instagram ‘engaged fully’ with the regulator throughout the investigation but disagreed with how the penalty was calculated.” 

In addition, Instagram/Meta are not the only companies to come under fire recently when it comes to the handling of user data. Other companies such as WhatsApp have also received fines of hundreds of millions of dollars for mishandling user data, and Facebook was also fined earlier this year. A Statement from the Data Protection Commission of Ireland indicates, The DPC has today adopted a decision, imposing a fine of €17m on Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (formerly Facebook Ireland Limited).”

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