Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has just been hit by a massive fine. EU regulators have asked the company to pay €225 million (~$267 million)  for breaking the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.

The fine imposed on WhatsApp comes courtesy of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), the lead privacy regulator for Facebook in the EU region. In a detailed summary describing its order, the DPC stated that the messaging service failed to give enough information to its users about how the company shares information with Facebook and its related companies.

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WhatsApp Finds Itself in Trouble All Over Again

WhatsApp has been ordered to update its privacy policy to ensure that users are clear about data sharing practices. The Irish regulator has also reprimanded the company and asked it to take “a range of remedial actions.”

The initial fine on WhatsApp was around €50 million (~$59 million). However, it was later changed to €225 million after other data protection agencies sought heftier penalties. Meanwhile, the messaging service has gone ahead and called this fine “entirely disproportionate.”

Speaking to the Verge, a WhatsApp spokesperson said the following.

WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so.

WhatsApp is planning to appeal the DPC’s decision, and the case is expected to be before the Irish courts in the coming years.

This is certainly not the first time WhatsApp has run into legal troubles. Ever since their revised privacy policy, which will soon be optional, the company has been finding itself in hot waters in one way or another, and this is just another brick in the wall.

However, such a massive fine on WhatsApp is not something that we saw coming, but clearly, this has been brewing for some time now. Let’s see how the service handles the fine, and how this situation goes forward.