Amazon’s recent record GDPR fine represents a whopping 70 per cent of all the fines issued so far under the legislation.
Last week Amazon revealed in its quarterly results that the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) has slapped it with an unprecedented €746 million (£637 million) fine for breaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.
According to new data from Privacy Affairs’ GDPR Fines Tracker, this represented 70 per cent of the entire 761 fines issued under the legislation since it was introduced in 2018.
It marks a significant step up in the severity of punishments handed out by European regulators, with the next two largest fines issues to Google and H&M coming in at €50 million and €32.2 million respectively.
Speaking to Wired, internet advocacy group Access Now’s Estelle Massé said the fine was especially significant as it demonstrated that the regulator could be effective in fighting Big Tech.
“With so many large cases piling up in front of regulators, we were really waiting for one of those cases to be resolved to show that the GDPR basically has teeth,” she said.
Despite this, ImmuniWeb founder and member of the Europol Data Protection Experts Network Ilia Kolochenko told Charged that Amazon is likely to succeed in significantly reducing the fine via an appeal.
“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,” she said.
“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.”