Statement: DPC issues € 225 million fine on WhatsApp

Sep 02, 2021

Irish DPC issued € 225 million fine against WhatsApp/Facebook

Press Release by Irish DPC

EDPB Decision (redacted)

More Information in First Media Reports

Statement by Max Schrems, Chair of noyb.eu

Mr Schrems and noyb, as a non-profit organisation, both have a number of pending cases before the DPC (including on WhatsApp) and have been monitoring the situation at the Irish DPC closely since 2011. In a first statement, Max Schrems puts the record fine into perspective:

"We welcome the first decision by the Irish regulator. However, the DPC gets about ten thousand complaints per year since 2018 and this is the first major fine. The DPC also proposed an initial € 50 million fine and was forced by the other European data protection authorities to move towards € 225 million, which is still only 0.08% of the turnover of the Facebook Group. The GDPR foresees fines of up to 4% of the turnover. This shows how the DPC is still extremely dysfunctional."

noyb will monitor the next steps closely. It is to be expected that this case will be before the Irish Courts for years and it will be interesting if the DPC will actively defend this decision before the Courts, as it was forced to make such a decision by its EU colleagues at the EDPB:

"WhatsApp will surely appeal the decision. In the Irish court system this means that years will pass before any fine is actually paid. In our cases we often had the feeling that the DPC is more concerned with headlines than with actually doing the hard groundwork. It will be very interesting to see if the DPC will actually defend this decision fully, as it was basically forced to make this decision by its European counterparts. I can imagine that the DPC will simply not put many resources on the case or 'settle' with WhatsApp in Ireland. We will monitor this case closely to ensure that the DPC is actually following through with this decision."