Amazon faces a $887 million fine by European Privacy Watchdog

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been hit with a 746 million euros ($887 million) fine by a European privacy watchdog. The tech giant was alleged of breaching the bloc’s data protection laws. 

The company disclosed the fine on Friday in a securities filing that Luxembourg’s privacy regulator issued two weeks ago. The Luxembourg National Commission for Data protection announced that the processing of personal data by Amazon didn’t comply with the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. Furthermore, the watchdogs obliged Amazon to re-adjust several undisclosed business practices. 

The e-commerce tech giant’s headquarters in Luxembourg denied the breach or the violation of any GDPR rules. 

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 “Maintaining the security of our customers’ information and their trust are top priorities,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. “There has been no data breach, and no customer data has been exposed to any third party,” they added.

“These facts are undisputed. We strongly disagree with the CNPD’s ruling, and we intend 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.”

According to an investigation by the CNPD that started in 2018, a French privacy rights group called La Quadrature Du Net filed a lawsuit against Amazon. La Quadrature du Net didn’t make any comments regarding Amazon’s $887 million fine. However, Bastien Le Querrec, a member of the Quadrature said that he is pleased with the decision, according to a report by Bloomberg. 

 “It’s the first step to see a fine that’s dissuasive, but we need to remain vigilant and see if the decision also includes an injunction to correct the infringing behavior,” he reportedly said.

Europe’s watchdogs Europe have all the right to fine companies 4% of their annual global sales under the GDPR. 

Amazon posted its third $100 billion quarter in a row on Thursday, with revenue growing by 27% year over year to $113.08 billion.