Tech giant Meta has been fined €390 million (£344m) by the Irish data regulator for forcing data consent on to users of its platforms.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) says the practice of informing Facebook and Instagram users that they must accept how their data is used or leave the platform is illegal under European Union law.

The DPC is primarily responsible for ensuring its compliance with EU data law because Facebook and Instagram have based their European headquarters in Ireland.

Meta has three months to change how it obtains and uses data to target ads, the DPC said.

Meta said it is “disappointed” with the decision and intends to appeal. It added that the ruling does not prevent personalised advertising on its platforms.

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“The decisions relate only to which legal basis Meta uses when offering certain advertising,” a spokesperson said.

The majority of its revenue, more than $118 billion in 2021, comes from advertising. 

In November Meta was fined €265m by the DPC over a data breach that saw the personal details of hundreds of millions of Facebook users published online.

The watchdog has now levied €1.3bn of fines against Meta, including against its messaging platform WhatsApp for sharing data with Facebook and Instagram.

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