The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has sent a draft decision on an investigation it has been carrying out into Instagram to other data regulators across Europe for consideration.

The inquiry was opened in September of last year on foot of information provided to the commission by a third party.

It also probed issues that the DPC had identified itself after it examined the registration process for new Instagram users.

"We last week submitted our draft decision to our colleagues for their views on it," said Graham Doyle, Deputy Commissioner at the DPC.

"This is part of the process under Article 60 of the GDPR, where we send draft decisions to other Concerned Supervisory Authorities and they have one month to send us their 'reasoned and relevant objections'."

The DPC has so far sent draft decisions in seven of its inquiries to other data regulators under the Article 60 process.

Two other inquiries involving Facebook are currently with the commission's EU colleagues.

If the other Concerned Supervisory Authorities have dissenting views on the draft decision which cannot be reconciled, then the decision moves to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for binding dispute resolution under the Article 65 process.

Earlier this year, WhatsApp, which is part of the family of Facebook related companies now called Meta, was fined €225m by the DPC for a series of regulatory breaches.

That case had to go before the EDPB for dispute resolution after objections were received from eight other European data regulators.

The DPC is facing growing criticism for the alleged slow speed at which it is handling its inquiries into big tech firms.