Meta brings second court challenge over record €405m fine issued against Instagram

Data Protection Commission issued penalty after two-year investigation

Meta’s Irish arm has initiated a second set of High Court proceedings over a record €405 million fine issued against Instagram by the Data Protection Commission (DPC).

Meta owns and operates Instagram and its Irish arm, Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd, earlier this year lodged an appeal over the fine, the largest ever imposed by the DPC.

The fine was issued following an investigation into how Instagram handled and processed teenagers’ personal data.

Business accounts

The fine decision last March, made after a DPC inquiry that was initiated in September 2020, examined how users aged between 13 and 17 were allowed to operate business accounts on Instagram.


The concerns included that Instagram’s process allowed, or required, children’s phone numbers and/or email addresses to be made public.

In a reaction to the DPC’s decision, Meta said it had engaged fully with the DPC inquiry which, it said, focused on old settings updated in early 2021. It said its appeal was brought for reasons including that it disputed how the fine was calculated.

This week, Meta filed a second set of proceedings seeking a judicial review of the DPC decision. The next step will involve the High Court deciding whether its grounds meet the “arguable case” threshold necessary for it to bring the proceedings.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times