July 7, 2022

South Korean state regulator on personal information protection, the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) asks the operator of Facebook to pay 300,000 won (US$256.70) in compensation to each of 181 users demanding damages for the provision of their personal information to third parties without consent.

According to reports, Meta Platforms, Inc. was recommended the fine PIPC’s dispute mediation panel. The panel is in charge of settling a dispute between the operator and Korean users of Facebook over the platform’s breach of users’ personal data.

The state watchdog earlier in November had concluded that Facebook between May 2012 and June 2018 passed personal data of at least 3.3 million of its total 18 million Korean users to third parties without the users’ consent. The leaked data is said to include the lists of the users’ Facebook friends.

The global tech giant was then fined 6.7 billion won for the privacy law violations.

Due to such an act, a group of local Facebook users in response collectively filed for a damage relief process with the PIPC in April. The user’s sought for financial compensation from the operator of Facebook as well as the disclosure of information, on which personal data were leaked and to whom.

PIPC in the proposed arbitration deal recommended Meta to pay the 300,000 won in financial compensation to each of the 181 users who joined the collective action. While also give them access to the information they had formally requested.

According to the dispute mediation panel, over 10,000 third-party app developers gained access to personal information of local Facebook users, without the users being informed or having given consent.

The panel also mentioned that it will immediately to both parties of the proposal.

Meta Inc. if accepts the proposal will have the same legal effect as the final court decision on a civil suit.

The head of the dispute mediation panel, Kim Il-hwan, commented that the decision was made in consideration of the object of the relevant collective dispute mediation system. The system in the country have been adopted to protect the rights of individuals against giant internet platform companies.

The panel expects the company to accept the proposed deal to fulfill its personal data protection obligations.