News, Technology

Amazon Slapped With $887 Million Fine Over GDPR Violation

Abhinav Raj

Abhinav Raj, Writer

On Friday, Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) charged e-commerce giant Amazon with a fine of $880 million over data privacy violations

It’s a fine day for privacy rights activists and Amazon’s European headquarters in Luxembourg alike—albeit under different connotations.

European privacy regulator hit Amazon with a record fine amounting to €746 million ($887 million) for violating the EU’s data protection laws.

The National Commission for Data Protection in Luxembourg found the e-commerce giant guilty of customer manipulation for commercial means by choosing the ads and information they receive—thereby violating the bloc’s stringent set of privacy laws, known as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The e-commerce giant, however, challenged the verdict. In a regulatory filing, Amazon claimed that it found the decision ‘baseless’ and announced its intent to defend itself “vigorously” in the case.

“We strongly disagree with the CNPD’s ruling, and we intend to appeal”, said an Amazon spokesperson in a press statement.

“The decision relating to how we show customers relevant advertising relies on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law, and the proposed fine is entirely out of proportion with even that interpretation.”

Image: Guillaume Perigois on Unsplash

The penalty comes as a result of a 2018 class-action lawsuit filed by French privacy rights group called La Quadrature du Net. Based out of Paris, the privacy rights advocates believe in defending “fundamental freedoms in the digital world”.

“This historic sanction strikes at the heart of the GAFAM predation system and should be applauded as such”, added the group in a blog post published on Friday.

While Amazon prepares to lock horns with the European regulators in the court of law, the fact that the EU guards the privacy and security of its citizens vigilantly remains evident.

The debate remains open, however—is the European watchdog coming down too hard on the tech giants for merely using cookies to show its users relevant ads that they consented to? Or does cookie consent go beyond what’s on the book? Let us know in the comments.

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