Tech

Amazon Faces Potential EU Privacy Fine of $ 425 Million

European Union privacy regulators have proposed fines of more than $ 425 million for:

Amazon.com Co., Ltd.

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According to people familiar with the matter, this is part of a process that can result in the greatest penalties under Block’s privacy law.

The Luxembourg Data Protection Commission, CNPD, has circulated a draft decision to sanction Amazon’s privacy practices and propose fines to 26 other state authorities in Block, they said. CNPD is Amazon’s leading privacy regulator in the EU, as Amazon’s EU headquarters are in the Grand Duchy.

The Luxembourg proceedings are related to alleged violations of European law. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Is related to the collection and use of Amazon’s personal data and has nothing to do with Amazon’s cloud computing business, said one person familiar with the matter. The person refused to elaborate on his specific claims against Amazon.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment. The company has previously stated that customer privacy is paramount and that it complies with the law in every country in which it operates. A CNPD spokesman allowed regulators to comment on individual cases. Said it wasn’t.

Before the draft decision is finalized, it must be substantially agreed by other EU privacy regulators. This process can take months and can lead to substantive changes, including fines.

The fine proposed by Luxembourg is equivalent to about 2% of Amazon’s reported net profit of $ 21.3 billion in 2020 and 0.1% of sales of $ 386 billion. Under the GDPR, regulators can fine up to 4% of a company’s annual revenue.

Luxembourg regulators have received a small number of opposition to the draft decision, some of which should raise fines, another person familiar with the matter said. Luxembourg can amicably resolve or reject the objection and initiate discussions and votes among all EU privacy regulators at the European Data Protection Commission.

The EU’s new data privacy law, known as the GDPR, has created the first ever Bill of Rights on Consumer Privacy. Here’s what you need to know: (Released on August 8, 2018)

The draft judgment, along with the amount of the fine, A new wave of privacy enhancements for major tech companies In Europe, Silicon Valley giants are under global surveillance.

The Irish privacy regulator is leading the enforcement of the GDPR.

Facebook Co., Ltd.

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Apple Co., Ltd.

The EU has its headquarters in the country and plans to draft a draft decision in about six privacy proceedings involving major tech companies this year.

One of Ireland’s draft decisions circulated to other regulators alleges GDPR violations related to data sharing between Facebook’s social network and the chat app WhatsApp. According to people familiar with the matter, the draft decision recommends a fine of around € 30 to € 50 million, or about $ 37 to $ 61 million.

Facebook representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. When asked about past incidents, a spokeswoman declined to comment.

The EU’s tightening of privacy crackdowns has led to multiple lawsuits against major tech companies by European and US regulators as antitrust crackdowns have been tightened. Last week, competitive enforcement agencies in the UK and EU announced a formal antitrust investigation into Facebook’s dating service and its classified advertising service Marketplace.

A Facebook spokeswoman said last week that the company’s marketplace and dating service “runs in a highly competitive environment with many large incumbents. Prove that they have no merit. “

When it comes to privacy, activists complain that Europe’s enforcement is too slow. Since the GDPR came into effect in 2018, the biggest penalties under the law are € 50 million fine against Google According to the law firm DLA Piper, it is from the French privacy regulator.

Ireland, which leads the EU’s enforcement in many of the largest tech companies in the United States, has been particularly criticized by activists and politicians for making no further decisions. So far, authorities have said 12 The final decision was made in one big tech case, fined Twitter € 450,000 a month.

In response to criticism, Ireland’s privacy regulator Helen Dixon said technology-related proceedings are new and must give businesses the right to due process to effectively respond to all allegations. Said.

Write to Sam Shekner sam.schechner@wsj.com

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Amazon Faces Potential EU Privacy Fine of $ 425 Million

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