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Twitter fines $ 547,000 for breaching European data law

December 15, 2020

Ireland's data regulator has fined Twitter 450,000 euros ($ 547,000) for violating the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced the fine on Tuesday. This is the first time that a US tech company has been fined under the European Union's GDPR.

It is reported that the General Data Protection Regulation is a set of data protection and privacy regulations that were introduced by the European Union in May 2018.

The Irish Authority said in a statement on its website: “The Data Protection Committee found that Twitter violated Articles 1 and 5 of Article 33 of the General Data Protection Regulation in terms of failure to notify the Data Protection Committee on time, and failure to properly document the violation.”

The authority added, "The Data Protection Committee imposed an administrative fine of 450,000 euros on Twitter as an effective, proportionate and deterrent measure."

"The unexpected result of the hiring between Christmas Day 2018 and New Year's Day led Twitter to notify the Data Protection Committee outside of the 72-hour statutory notice period," Damian Kiran - Twitter's chief privacy officer and global data protection officer - said in a statement. We have made changes so that all the following incidents are reported to the Data Protection Committee in a timely manner. ”

Kiran added, "We are responsible for this error and remain fully committed to protecting the privacy of our customers and their data, and this includes doing so through our work to inform the public quickly and transparently of the problems that occur."

Many of the major technology companies in the European Union are headquartered in Ireland, which means that the Ireland Data Protection Commission oversees the companies under the GDPR. Helen Dickson, Ireland's chief data regulator, had an investigation in January 2019 after Twitter told her of a breach of the GDPR.

Companies can be fined up to 4 percent of global annual revenue if they violate the GDPR. For Twitter, that could mean a fine of up to $ 138 million.