Commissioner Helen Dixon will have an active week with her office’s first potential big tech fine under GDPR and a showdown against Facebook in the High Court.
Ireland’s data protection regulator is set to announce this week whether Twitter will receive a hefty fine for making some users’ private tweets public.
The result of its investigation into the data breach, which happened two years ago, is to be unveiled by Wednesday, December 17th at the latest.
It comes a week after Facebook said that it has put aside €302m for potential regulatory fines in Europe, arising mostly from investigations by Helen Dixon’s office.
Under GDPR rules, European data regulators can fine companies up to 4% of their annual turnover which, for large tech firms, extends to billions of euros.
However, experts say that is unlikely this Twitter decision will result in a massive fine, given its nature and the company’s voluntary admission of its fault.
Nevertheless, if a fine is announced, it will be the first from the Irish regulator against a big tech company under European GDPR rules.
The Irish Commissioner, Helen Dixon, is Twitter’s lead supervisory authority in the EU. Her office circulated a draft decision to other European data protection authorities in May, but some countries weren’t happy with it. The issue was referred as a “dispute resolution procedure” to the European Data Protection Board. On November 10th, that body said it had made its own determination and that the Irish DPC had a month to finalise and announce the decision.
The move comes ahead of the DPC’s legal showdown against Facebook in the High Court next week. In August, the social media giant took judicial review proceedings against the regulator. Facebook is hoping to quash both an inquiry and a preliminary decision from Helen Dixon’s office on the issue of personal transfers from the EU to the US. The preliminary decision would put a halt to Facebook’s transfers of the personal data of millions of EU users to the US.
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