An office that’s responsible for enforcing European data privacy laws against many of the biggest U.S. tech firms is spending much of its time on one company: Facebook.
The Ireland Data Protection Commission said in a report that as of Dec. 31 it had 15 ongoing investigations of multinational tech companies. Ten of the investigations were about Facebook or its subsidiaries, Instagram and WhatsApp.
One of the investigations into Facebook is especially wide-ranging, examining whether the social network has met its obligations “to secure and safeguard the personal data of its users.” Twitter faces a similar probe, the report says.
The report, released early on Thursday on Dublin time, underscores how much Facebook’s handling of sensitive personal data is dominating legal and policy debates about privacy — and how much potential regulatory danger the social network faces in Europe, where privacy laws are more strict than in the U.S.
Facebook has been battered by a series of privacy scandals over the past year, including a security flaw that affected 50 million accounts, a bug that may have exposed unpublished photos to third-party app developers and the collection of personal data by the political analysis firm Cambridge Analytica.