Amazon fined record $887 million over EU privacy violations

Now that Amazon’s Q2 earnings are in, the company has filed a 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that includes further information, such as this eye-popping statement regarding a fine issued by Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) (via Bloomberg).

The Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (the “CNPD”) issued an order against Amazon Europe Core S.à r.l. on July 16, 2021, alleging that Amazon’s processing of personal data violated the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The judgment includes a €746 million fine as well as practice changes. We feel the CNPD’s judgment is unjustified, and we intend to strongly defend ourselves in this case.

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This translates to nearly $887 million in US dollars, making it the biggest fine ever imposed under European data protection legislation. The CNPD has not made its decision public, and Amazon has not stated what changes to its business practices the commission is seeking.

In November 2020, EU commissioners stated their judgment that Amazon’s retail company exploited non-public data to compete with other retailers in France and Germany.

“The decision relating to how we display consumers relevant advertising rests on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law, and the proposed fine is utterly out of proportion with even that interpretation,” Amazon writes in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. According to the Wall Street Journal, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) standards allow for fines of up to 4% of a company’s turnover, which equates to roughly 4.2 percent of Amazon’s anticipated $21.3 billion in revenue for 2020.

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