Amazon Inc. fined record $888 Million allegedly for violating GDPR rules: eCommerce giant will appeal biggest ever EU fine for Privacy Law breach

Amazon Inc. GDPR EU Data Fine
Amazon will appeal the $888 Million EU Fine. Pic credit: Robert Scoble/Flickr

Amazon Inc. faces a record-setting $888 Million penalty for alleged GDPR violations. The public agency that levied the biggest ever EU fine claims the eCommerce giant’s behavioral advertising violates personal data and privacy norms.

Luxembourg’s Commission nationale pour la protection des données (CNPD) has levied a €746 million fine on Amazon Inc. The agency claims Amazon violated GDRP norms by improperly processing the personal data of customers and users.

Amazon Inc. had been processing personal data in violation of the EU’s GDPR norms, alleges CNPD:

Amazon is facing a record-breaking €746 million fine for alleged GDPR violations. CNPD, an independent public agency established to monitor the legality of the collection and use of personal information, has slapped the penalty.

The online retailer has confirmed the penalty through an SEC Form 10-Q. The eCommerce giant noted CNPD levied the fine this month because it feels Amazon has been improperly processing personal data.

“On July 16, 2021, the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (the “CNPD”) issued a decision against Amazon Europe Core S.à r.l. claiming that Amazon’s processing of personal data did not comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation.”

Amazon has also confirmed the penalty amount and added that it plans to challenge the same.

“The decision imposes a fine of €746 million and corresponding practice revisions. We believe the CNPD’s decision to be without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.”

Amazon is facing a fine because La Quadrature du Net had complained against Amazon Europe Core SARL, Amazon EU SARL, Amazon Services Europe SARL and Amazon Media EU SARL, and Amazon Video Limited. This was back in 2018.

The complaint claimed, “Amazon is analyzing users’ behavior to build profiles used for targeted advertising”. The primary contention is that Amazon did not formally seek users’ consent before building behavioral profiles. Hence, the company violates GDPR policies, alleged the complainant.

Will Amazon pay the record-setting $888 Million fine, allegedly for violating GDPR Data and User Privacy Laws?

It is important to note that Amazon is not being fined for any data breaches. Moreover, there has been no unauthorized access to customer data. The argument for the fine reportedly hinges on the allegation that Amazon improperly processes customer data and uses the same for targeted advertisement.

Amazon strongly believes the decision to levy the penalty is based on “subjective and untested interpretations of the GDPR privacy law”. Needless to mention, the company fully intends to appeal.

“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. We strongly disagree with the CNPD’s ruling, and we intend to appeal.”

The €746 million mulct, is far higher than the €50 million fine that European Union levied on Google in 2019. EU fined Google for “not correctly receiving consent when processing user’s data when creating a Google account or performing advertising.”

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