DUBLIN: Ireland on Thursday slapped Facebook's WhatsApp messaging service with a record fine for breaching EU data privacy laws after European regulators demanded the penalty be increased.
Ireland's Data Protection Commission was entrusted with the case because Facebook's European headquarters are situated in the country.
"And following this reassessment the DPC has imposed a fine of 225 million euros ($267 million) on WhatsApp," the commission said, by far the largest penalty it has ever issued to a company, dwarfing the 450,000-euro fine imposed on Twitter last year.
As Ireland hosts the regional headquarters of a number of major tech players such as Apple, Google and Twitter, the DPC has been largely responsible for policing adherence to the EU's landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) charter.
But Ireland has come under pressure for not taking a firm enough line against tech giants, who are generally understood to be drawn to the country by its low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent. WhatsApp said it would appeal the decision.