Zuckerberg Hit With Billion-Dollar Fine Over Data Breaches
Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t been doing all that well lately – and one of his latest ventures, Meta, has been causing more harm than good. Starting from the beginning, Meta seemed like a hopeful venture.
But all of a sudden, the beam of light faded, and instead, in 2022, the value of stocks plummeted. Since the renaming of Facebook to Meta, the company has lost two-thirds of its stock shares – although lately, they are recovering.
That’s not to mention that Meta is now in its third round of employee firings, cutting up to 11,000 jobs this time.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact Meta has been slapped with a $1.3 billion fine for violating European Union data protection rules. That comes after already being fined €265m by Irish Watch Dog for a 2021 data leak.
So far, the Meta venture hasn’t been smooth. Below, we’ll explore what’s happened thus far and where the Meta venture is heading.
The Story So Far
In October 2021, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Inc. was rebranding to “Meta Platforms Inc.,” or “Meta” for short, signaling a strategic shift towards developing the ‘metaverse’.
The metaverse, as Zuckerberg explains, is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. It’s about creating an immersive virtual world – and according to Zuckerberg, a next-generation internet.
This new vision is about bringing together global communities through a fully immersive experience using advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) technologies.
Meta’s suite of apps, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Oculus, would continue to operate under their existing names.
But it hasn’t been smooth sailing from initial employee layoffs affecting thousands of people to a new third round of layoffs that’ll increase the number of employees that have been left without a job to around 21,000.
The Latest Scandal
The latest scandal comes as Meta gets slapped with its most eye-watering fine yet, and the fine is for breaching EU data laws.
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission issued the fine for essentially claiming that the data of its users were not safeguarded sufficiently from American spy agencies.
The order ensured they stopped transferring data collected from Facebook users in Europe to the United States – data that was ready for the taking from spy agencies, data brokers, and fraud criminals.
Data brokers, in particular, harness social media information to make their money – you can learn how to stop data brokers selling your personal information here.
Where The Meta Venture Is Heading
Zuckerberg envisions the metaverse as his upcoming significant development in social and technological interaction, which goes beyond the screen-based use of the internet we see today.
The metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, would involve 3D, immersive experiences that could include anything from social media interaction to work meetings, entertainment, and gaming experiences.
This new direction for Meta signifies a considerable investment in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. The company’s Oculus division, known for its VR headsets, forms a significant part of this vision.
Zuckerberg sees a future where users could ‘teleport’ between different virtual environments, interacting with each other in more immersive and realistic ways than current technology allows.
But in reality, Meta has been one big fail so far. From the beginning, Zuckerberg’s vision has somewhat crashed and burned – or rather, it never took off to begin with.
Other than the name change, Meta hasn’t had much success in the formation department. All of the recent articles online talk about the lawsuits, profit losses, mass staff firing, and basically, nothing positive about Meta.
The only positive post we’re able to find relates to Zuckerberg’s message about the promising future he still believes Meta has – but perhaps his current staff think differently, with many predicting that, thanks to the recent fine, more employees will find themselves jobless as Meta seeks to recover economically.
You also have to consider the advances in artificial intelligence that Zuckerberg has also begun to invest heavily in and how that might take over the role of some employees.
Despite what Zuckerberg wants, it doesn’t seem like it’s going in that direction. His latest statement, released in March 2023, aimed to reassure the public and the remaining employees about the future of Meta, reinforcing his vision for greatness.
The way it’s going, that’s long into the future. What we know for sure – is that some things aren’t meant to be, and perhaps Meta is one of them.