Why it matters: The previous record for the largest fine for a GDPR violation was Google, which received a €50 million fine. However, Amazon recently imposed a massive €746 million fine, indicating that violations of EU privacy laws are becoming more costly over time.
Amazon appears to be doing relatively well under its new leadership, but the company's growth is slowing and short cuts to achieving big are back. The retail giant was fined 746 million euros ($885 million) after Luxembourg's National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) found the company had violated GDPR rules when processing personal data. The Wall Street Journal admitted the fine. In a security issue, the company revealed it was released two weeks ago after the CNPD completed its investigation into Amazon's advertising practices. The company did not reveal any details about the proposed changes. In any case, Amazon is not satisfied with the fine and believes that "the decision on how to display customer ads is based on subjective and untested interpretations of European privacy law".
The company plans to appeal The ruling is in court, saying the proposed fine is "completely disproportionate." GDPR rules allow for a fine of €20 million, or 4% of a company's annual global revenue, whichever is greater. In June, The Wall Street Journal saw the CNPD bill being fined $425 million, but doubled after it was reviewed by other EU privacy regulators.
Last year, the European Commission released the results of a separate study on how to promote Amazon products in the region. In particular, the EU commissioners found that Amazon used data from third-party sellers from its marketplace to promote its products.
Amazon could be fined up to $28 billion, depending on the outcome of the investigation. The implementation of the GDPR appears to have changed after privacy advocates repeatedly criticized the European Commission for slowing it down and imposing small fines that discourage wealthy companies. For a company like Amazon, $885 million is still changing, but that's more than the $57 million Google has to pay for violating GDPR rules.
Amazon fined $885 million for violating EU privacy laws