Meta Platforms Ireland has lost a legal battle to defy the South Korean data protection watchdog’s decision to slap a fine for providing users’ personal information to other operators without consent, officials said on Monday.

In November 2020, the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) fined Meta, formerly known as Facebook, 7.8 billion won ($5.78 million) after its probe found that the personal information of at least 3.3 million out of 18 million Facebook users in South Korea was provided to operators other than Facebook without their knowledge from May 2012 through June 2018.

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Meta then filed a complaint against the ruling, claiming the information sharing was made upon the users’ agreement and it did not induce them to do so, reports Yonhap news agency.

But the Seoul Administrative Court on Thursday ruled against Meta, saying its users were not able to know related legal notices and the company had taken unfair profits from the practice.

According to the PIPC’s investigation, the personal information of a user’s Facebook friends was provided to other operators without their knowledge when someone used another operator’s service through Facebook login.

The compromised information included their academic background, family, and marriage status.

The watchdog also said Meta had not been cooperating with the probe by belatedly submitting data and providing false documents.

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