Instagram fined €405m over children’s data privacy

Instagram has been faced with the second-highest fine under the GDPR.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has fined Instagram €405 million for violations of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Instagram, owned by Meta, has been faced with the second-highest fine under the GDPR, only being beaten by the Amazon fine which was €746 million.

This is also the third time one of Meta’s companies has faced a fine from the Irish regulator.


After a two-year investigation, the Data Protection Commission has confirmed the penalty but has not made any further comments.

The issue lies with the ability to have a ‘business’ account.

On Instagram, businesses can change their account to a business account, it gives more customisation and you can look at more detailed analytics and insights.

Business accounts also show the user’s phone number and email, which many weren’t aware of.

This could put young people in danger as their information was public.

The other issue was that when a young person set up an account, the account was immediately set as public.

So, the child would have to find out how to make their account private, then take the steps to do so.

Since then, Instagram has updates, so all young people’s accounts are automatically set to private until changed by the user. 

Instagram app shown on an iPhone screen


The DPC has at least six other investigations in the pipeline for Meta-owned companies.

Meta has commented at this time, stating:

“This inquiry focused on old settings that we updated over a year ago, and we’ve since released many new features to help keep teens safe and their information private. Anyone under 18 automatically has their account set to private when they join Instagram, so only people they know can see what they post, and adults can’t message teens who don’t follow them. We engaged fully with the DPC throughout their inquiry, and we’re carefully reviewing their final decision.”

Full details of the decision and case should be released next week, but no dates have been confirmed at this time. 

If you’re worried about how your business handles data security and protection, contact our team who can advise you and ensure that your business and customers are protected.

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