South Korea has levied tens of millions of dollars in fines on Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Meta Platforms (META.O) for privacy law violations, authorities said on Wednesday. The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) said it fined Google 69.2 billion won ($50 million) and Meta 30.8 billion won ($22 million).
The privacy panel said that the firms did not inform service users and obtain their prior consent when collecting and analyzing behavioral information to infer their interests or use them for customized advertisements. A Google spokesperson said they disagree with the PIPC’s findings and will review the entire written decision once it is shared.
The spokesperson said that Google has consistently demonstrated its commitment to releasing ongoing updates that provide users control and transparency while facilitating the most helpful products possible. They added that Google would remain committed to engaging with the PIPC to protect the privacy of South Korean users.
A Meta spokesperson said that while the company respects the commission’s decision, they are confident that they work with their clients in a legally compliant way that meets the processes required by local regulations. Further, they said that Meta disagrees with the commission’s decision and will be open to seeking a ruling from the court.
Also, on Wednesday, Google suffered its second setback in Europe in less than a year as the top court agreed with EU antitrust regulators that it had abused its dominance. Google lost its challenge to a 2.42 billion euro ($2.42 billion) fine the previous year, though the EU Court of Justice did trim it slightly.