Meta Platforms seeks to stop privacy breach fine in Norway

By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO (Reuters) -Meta Platforms is asking a court in Norway to stop a fine the Nordic country’s data regulator imposed on the owner of Facebook and Instagram for breaching users’ privacy, according to a court filing.

Meta Platforms will be fined 1 million crowns ($97,700) per day from Aug. 14 over privacy breaches, Norway’s data protection authority told Reuters on Monday, in a decision that could have wider European implications.

Meta Platforms is asking for a temporary injunction against the order, according to a court filing. Its petition will be presented on Aug. 22 during a two-day hearing.

The company’s Norwegian lawyer said media queries should be directed to Meta. Meta Platforms did not reply to a request for comment.

The Norwegian data regulator, Datatilsynet, said Meta Platforms was seeking to stop the imposition of the fine.

“They say that the court should put … a pause on our order, pending a full trial,” Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet’s international section told Reuters. “Datatilsynet will argue that there is no basis for an injunction.”

The regulator has said Meta cannot harvest user data in Norway, such as users’ physical locations, and use it to target advertising at them, called behavioural advertising, a business model common to Big Tech.

The fine will run until Nov. 3. Datatilsynet can make it permanent by referring its decision to the European Data Protection Board, which has the power to do so, if it agrees with the Norwegian regulator’s decision.

That could also widen the decision’s territorial scope to the rest of Europe.

Datatilsynet had yet to take this step.

($1 = 10.2326 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)