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Amazon gets record $888 Million EU fine over data violations

July 2021 by Ilia Kolochenko, Founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network Inc. faces the biggest ever European Union privacy fine (€746 million which is $888 million or £635 million) penalty for violating the bloc’s tough data protection rules.

CNPD, the Luxembourg data protection authority, slapped Amazon with the record fine after accusing the online retailer of processing personal data in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

The comment from Ilia Kolochenko, Founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network:

“Contrasted to the common misconception, Article 83 of GDPR is very specific about its penalties: security-related incidents are fined by up to 2% of the annual turnover, while violations such as lack of consent or unlawful data processing are punished more severely by a fine going up to 4%. Thus, Amazon’s statement that no data breach has occurred is probably not very relevant to the case. In view of the recent GDPR-related litigation in the EU and available jurisprudence, the fine, however, indeed seems to be excessive and will likely be significantly reduced on appeal. Amazon will undoubtedly endeavor to win the case in court on appeal.

The outcome of this case will likely be influenced by politics, as such punitive actions by the EU may strongly discourage American companies doing business in Europe. Furthermore, it may motivate US states, that are now rapidly implementing state privacy laws, to retaliate by imposing mirrored penalties upon European companies. The long-awaited federal privacy law in the US should hopefully harmonize data protection regimes and finally bring a peace of mind both to consumers and businesses on the two sides of the pond.”

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